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Archive for the category “Beautification”

Author of The Green Year Valentine’s Day Tips

The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference is a cool book by Jodi Helmer filled with tips on how simple things can add up to benefit the Earth.

Believe it or not (husbands, boyfriends, men, are you reading?) Valentine’s Day is coming right up.

Jodi has some ideas for how we can add some green to the holiday:

* Order organic roses for your Valentine. Conventional roses are sprayed with chemicals to kill insects and mildew and are dunked in preservatives to keep them from rotting before they’re shipped. Organic roses are grown without pesticides or preservatives.

* Surprise your Valentine with a candlelit dinner. Turning the lights out isn’t just romantic, it saves energy. To make the evening even more eco-friendly, opt for soy candles over candles made from paraffin. Soy candles are made from natural ingredients, last longer than paraffin candles and reduce the amount of soot released into the air by 90 percent.

* Toast your Valentine with organic wine. Organic wines are made with grapes that have not been sprayed with pesticides and contain no added sulfites (acids that occur naturally in most wines but are often added as preservatives). Organic wines from local growers are the most environmentally-friendly choice because they have not been shipped long distances.

* Consider buying a piece of estate jewelry for your Valentine. The pieces are more unique than the jewelry sold in big box stores and estate jewelry is the ultimate in reducing, reusing and recycling.

Boyfriends, husbands, crushes- we promise, even though we read this too we will be act totally surprised when you do these things for us!

Intelligent Nutrients Hair/Skin Care, Supplements

Last spring was the launch of an exciting new line of hair care, skin care, aromatics and nutraceutical supplements: Intelligent Nutrients.

Intelligent Nutrients is 100% organic.  It was developed by the founder of Aveda (and active environmentalist), Horst Rechelbacher.  Aveda is from Minnesota, like me.  But that’s not the only reason I like it!

I had the opportunity to try a whole gamut of Intelligent Nutrient products.  As you can see, they are all beautifully (but not overly) packaged.

I’ll highlight my favorites out of all of the types:

1.  Spray-On Detangler :  I have very fine hair that is incredibly prone to tangles.  I’ve never consistently used detangler, though, since I wasn’t confident in its origins or its effectiveness.  Intelligent Nutrients Detangler was very helpful while not weighing my hair down.  Its smell is fresh and light- not toxic at all!

2. Lip Delivery Nutrition (aka Lip Balm): This lip balm is great!  I love the tall, thin shape and its sweet smell.  It really “wakes up” the lips, so to speak.  And apparently it’s nutritious for them, too- score.

3. Intellimune Tablets : These are soft, crunchy pebbles that come in a bottle.  They’re chewable and a little bit “seedy” and a little bit “fruity.”  I really got used to them and now I really look forward to eating my dose (2-4 pebbles) each day.  They’re antioxidantly potent, which helps me feel better (psychologically at minimum) on those days where coffee, take-out and wine make up the rest of my intake.  (Though coffee and wine each have a lot of antioxidants too, right?)

4. Certified Organic Hair Balm : Long live hair balm!  It’s very helpful for people with fine hair (see #1), for people whose hair likes to do “its own thing,” or for people who live in humid climates: ie, for nearly everyone.  This hair balm actually reminds me a lot of Aveda’s hair stick which is shaped like a deodorant stick and deserves serious credit for keeping me and my sister looking halfway decent during high school swim seasons.

Check out the Intelligent Nutrient website for more info on each of these products as well as many more.

“Pick Your Nose” Paper Cups for a Party

Pick Your Nose Cups are the best thing I’ve seen this week.

Who knows how to liven up a party? YOU do! Each of these photo-?realistic paper cups comes emblazoned with a new nose. When ?you tip your head to take a drink – voila – you get an instant nose ?job, and a chuckle from the crowd. Remember, never turn your nose ?up at a good laugh!

  1. There are 24 12-oz. cups in each pack, evenly ?divided between male and female proboscises (errr, noses).
  2. Packed ?in a nice clear box.

Sirtified, $9

Mix It Up Print from The Bowled Series

Mix It Up! is 8×12 photograph by Pennsylvania-based The World Is My Studio on Etsy.  $32 and also available in custom sizes.

I think this would be gorgeous framed in a kitchen.  I love the earthiness of the wood and how the bowl is empty except for the whisk.  Just think of the what you could mix up!

Linzie Hunter Illustration

Shower by Linzie Hunter, a fabulous London-based illustrator.

I’ve been pretty deliberate, despite my upcoming nuptials, not to make Smorgasbite a wedding blog (you’re welcome), but when food and weddings intersect, well, isn’t that just a happy coincidence?

The bride and groom of this illustration look quite handsome (and well-bronzed), the bows on the packages are lovely, and those hallow ice cubes remind me of how my Grandma’s freezer used to automatically make them, which I’d suck on as my lemonade got watery after we went swimming in the condo’s pool.

LOVE Candy Canes for Valentine’s Day

Using up leftover candy canes in February?  LOVE it.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Marie at Make and Takes provides step-by-step instructions.

Who knew candy canes could get baked?

Paper Flower Decorations for Cupcakes

Cupcakes just got even cuter with Paper Flower Cupcake Toppers by England-based artist Millalove on Etsy.

Choose from Pink, Light Green, Light Blue, Yellow, Cream, Light Grey, White, Dark Turquoise, and Lilac.

$12.50 for a set of 10.  They’re reusable.  But not edible- no matter how sweet they look- they’re paper.  Besides, if you ate them, you wouldn’t be able to reuse them.

Carl Warner Artichokes

Photographer Carl Warner‘s “Artichokes” is a great print to have in your kitchen.

It’s earthy and calming, appropriate for all seasons, and inspires us to eat wholesome, nutrient-rich produce.

Food is so beautiful when we pause to look at it and appreciate it.

Birdie Napkins

Lace Birdie Napkins are 100% cotton and made from Amy Butler fabrics.

Atlanta-based artist Bella Bee sets a good looking table!

Etsy, $28 for 4

Gingerbread House of Homemade Charm

Homemade gingerbread houses are fun to make at any age.

I am indebted to Elise‘s How to Make a Gingerbread House for making my first non-kit and non-graham cracker gingerbread house a success.

Per usual, I swapped whole wheat flour and succanat for the white flour and refined sugars.  I also used blackstrap molasses instead of regular molasses.

Another adaptation which turned out to be a lifesaver: using a cardboard six-bottle beer carrier as a structure around which to build the walls and lay the roof.  Without this my house would have certainly caved in.  It also meant I only had to cut out a cardboard pattern for the roof since for the walls I just placed the carton onto my rolled-out dough and cut around it with a knife.

By the time I finished it was late at night and I didn’t decorate.  The next day I elected to keep it the way it was.  I like having just the dark brown and bright white.

I constructed it atop a cake platter which worked well.  Now it serves as a holiday decoration that I can move as needed.

With leftover dough I made some gingerbread sandwich cookies.  Recipe to come!

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