Thursday, May 23, 2013

Repurposed flower bouquet

My husband gave me a bouquet of beautiful peach roses on Valentine's Day this year. As time passed by, the leaves whittled and slowly the roses dried. Just as I did with many bouquets before, I decided to toss these into the trash as well, but suddenly, an idea struck me. Why not repurpose them? So, I thought, why not remove all the leaves and just leave the flowers (whatever's left of it) on? The vase is also from yet another bouquet I gave my husband last year. I think it looks darn cute and makes a nice little side table decor. 

Someone gave this to me :)

Thank you my dear friend. A special shoutout to you... for finding my blog and reading it. Makes me smile and makes my day when I hear someone stumbled upon my blog:) Loved LOVED loved these chocolates. Thank you :)


I grew up in Muscat, Oman. If you know a little bit about politics, you will know that Oman has long-standing political and military ties with the United Kingdom and the United States. In the retail marekt, Oman has always been heavily influenced by UK and the Europe. I grew up eating Lurpak Butter (which is made in Germany) and also used suncreams and waterbottles made either in Germany or England. For europhiles out there, you will know that european grocery items are quite different from its american counterparts. Let's take butter for example. In the US, you get 4 sticks of butter in a carton, which upon revealing, are like white sticks with more moisture than anything else and a serious lack of flavor. European style butter isn't like that. Its richer in taste and has less water and more butterfat%. Moving on, I found this Kerrygold Irish butter at Trader Joes for $2.99 and thought of giving it a try. What a big difference! However, to side with American butter, a lot of recipes, desserts in particular, turn out better with american style butter. For example, cookies made with american style butter will turn out chewy and if made with european style butter will turn crispy. And you know we like our cookies chewy and not crispy. 
Moving on... this butter, it actually tastes like butter! The butter I had growing up. I got the salted kind because I love me some salted butter on bread (sprinkled with some sugar). It is sinful but it is delicious. I don't eat butter on its own too often but when I do, I want to eat something like this. Something that reminds me of home.
 As you can see, it says Product of Ireland. Not to diss American butters, but there are lot of companies in the US that churn butter european style. I found quite a selection at Whole Foods but I opted for this as the price tag was friendly.
Look at the golden, yellow goodness. Another rant I have is about American eggs...even the organic ones have that lackluster yolk with absolutely no flavor. I am not blaming the American food industry, I guess they are trying to keep up with the burgeoning population. I am used to eggs with a dark orange yolk which is very thick in texture. When I was a kid, my mom used to bake these butter cakes with these eggs and man, I haven't had a cake like that ever since. I've researched that to buy farm fresh eggs here in the US (the ones with the orange yolks) you have to give an arm and a leg. I guess I'll just have to do with these mass-produced organic eggs :(. Still happy about finding this butter. Every time I open my fridge, I look at this butter and pat it a little, as if I've found a long lost friend. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Product Review: Aura Cacia Organic Rosehip Oil

I bought this at Whole Foods a month ago. It was on sale for $9.99 but it retails for $12-$14, depending on where you buy it from. I used to use Rosehip Oil a while ago and it helped me a lot with acne scars. It can be a tad too moisturizing on young skin and my skin is still like a teenager ( I don't know if that's a good thing or bad). However, it works well as a overnight skin treatment. It absorbs into the skin pretty quickly.
 As you can see, the ingredients are Organic Rosehip oil and Vitamin E. It says on the bottle that you can use it as a face serum, body oil and a nourishing hair massage. I haven't tried it on my hair yet but I am sure its going to be very beneficial.
Its a orange- y looking oil, slightly thick with a funny smell. I would say the smell is a little fishy, maybe even a bit mayonnaise like. It says on the bottle to keep it in the refrigerator and I do that. I think this is one of those oils that go rancid very quickly. I hope to use it up soon and so far, I have been using as a night time moisturizer and I love it. Two thumbs up for this smelly but efficient oil!

Warm water with lemon, cinnamon and honey

For a while now, I've heard a lot about the miracles of 'honey lemon water' for various ailments. Actually honey alone is supposed to cure a lot of simple infections and sicknesses. I first warm up some water in a pot and then pour it in a large mug. Then I add a dash of cinnamon powder, a teaspoon of honey and the juice of half of a lemon. I usually add the lemon juice last, once the waters cooled down a bit, or I find it turns too bitter.
Trader Joe's Ground Cinnamon ($1.99) is absolutely amazing. Its a wonderful little multi-purpose item. I add it to oatmeal, sprinkle some on cut up bananas along with some peanut butter. When I get a sudden pimple, I make a paste with some cinnamon powder and water and apply it to the affected area. 

Okay. Raw Honey ($5.99). I have heard a lot about raw honey but never actually tried thinking it would be too hard and I would have to spend ages melting it and yada yada. However, I found this little tub at Trader Joe's and decided to give it a whirl. To my surprise, it has a very creamy semi-solid consistency, with few gritty bits running through it. I just love it. It tastes like honey and if upon adding to hot and warm liquids, it melts very easily. I have used this as a face mask, natural sweetener and what not...the uses and benefits are infinite. 
Lemon is amazing. The smell just wakes you up instantly. Try pinching the surface of a lemon and smell it, it really energizes you. Sometimes I'll boil a slice of lemon to fill the air with that lemony sent. Food wise, I usually like lemon with water of course and also with baked fish, baked chicken and in desserts. If organic, lemon rind is superb too. Not too sure about eating or using non-organic lemon rind. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

New favorite body spray+body moisturizer

I know you're thinking 'wha?'...something a teenager or high-schooler would wear but here's my thing. I like candy, sugary smelling body products. I don't eat as many cupcakes and pastries as I would like to so to come over that craving and desire, I just try to smell like one lol. And please, the packaging is just on point. I love the pink and fluorescent green combination. This is part of Bath and Body Works' Signature collection and its called Honey Sweetheart. It is described as a mix of honeyed violets and pink sugar. The fragrance mist on its own is kind of weak so you need to pair it with the body cream and then for a good while you'll be smelling like a floral pink cupcake! The scent just makes me happy and puts me into a positive mood.
I got the buy one get one free so I paid $14 for both which isn't too shabby and these things last a while.

Product Review: Eva NYC Haircare

I was at ULTA last week and I stumbled upon this haircare line called eva nyc. I am a sucker for great packaging and that is got me into buying these products. Not to mention ULTA was running a bogo (Buy one get one 1/2 off). The shampoo was $8.99, the hair mask was $14.99 and the hair oil was $7.50 and on top of all that I got the $3.50 off). So I don't remember the exact total, but it was pretty good because previously I had checked their prices online and the hair mask alone is $34 . Anyway, so I tried all the products out and the common ingredients in all of them are argan oil and keravis. I was reading about Keravis an its basically hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

The clean it up shampoo is a clarifying shampoo which is not clear but rather milky, pale pink in appearance. This isn't a sulfate shampoo and that's a good thing because my hair doesn't understand sulfate-free.A little goes a long way and it really gives a good clean feeling to your hair. It isn't too moisturizing but then again it is a cleansing shampoo. I think using it everyday might be too harsh for the hair. Leaves an amazing musky scent in your hair. Hubby quite approved of the smell.
The Therapy Session Mask smells just like the shampoo--sooo amazing. Actually all the products in this line smell the same--kind of musky and perfume-y.I like it. This mask has the texture of any other deep conditioning hair mask. Although I find it not as silicone-y as some other hair masks I've tried before, I think that actually might be good for the hair.  After using it, my hair didn't feel too heavily moisturized but it felt kind of strong and left my hair smelling divine.
This is more like a serum to use on wet or dry hair. It contains dimethicone as its first ingredient followed by hydrolyzed vegetable protein, obliphica oil, argan oil, wheatgerm oil, jojoba oil, etc. The ingredient isn't as long as many of the serums in the market and most of them can be pronounced which makes me happy. I did find the consistency a bit too thick and since there is no dropper, you do end up using too much. Once again it smells like the shampoo and hair mask. I think with more uses I will know how I truly feel about these products but so far, I think they are pretty good.