Friday, December 2, 2011

Super Simple Bath Melts

So, I've decided to kick off my all-inclusive blog with a post about bath melts. In short: I love them. I tend to feel like bubble baths dry my skin out, but bath melts are basically solid bars made out of various oils and butters that melt when dropped into a steamy bath. This one here is one of my favorites from Lush.

I've actually been cooking with coconut oil lately, and have been incorporating it into my beauty/skincare regimen as much as possible. I like to soak my hair and scalp in it for hours, then wash it out in the shower. It leaves my hair super soft and shiny, and leaves my scalp feeling healthy. I also like to dab a little in my hands and rub it all over, like lotion. It is so moisturizing!

I decided to research bath melt recipes online, and discovered, as far as skin treats go, they are easy to make with ingredients that are relatively easy to find. The recipe I'm using is basic, I sort of combed through many til I decided to make my own, simpler version of those I'd found. I put my mixture into a candy mold from Michael's, and there was enough to fill all ten cavities.

What you need:

Coconut oil (I get mine at an organic market I shop at, but I believe many grocers carry it)
Extra virgin olive oil
Essential oil  (optional, if you use a certain kind of coconut oil, your mixture will smell like coconut)
Food coloring (optional)

The amount of ingredients really varies, because of how simplified this recipe is. I used about a quarter cup of coconut oil, and then a couple drizzles of olive oil. Coconut oil is solid at room temp, so make sure you don't use too much olive oil, or the melts won't set. Essential oil isn't necessary. If your mixture smells like coconut, the essential oil should mask it.

First, melt coconut oil. There are many efficient ways to do this, I just nuked mine for 10 seconds at a time.

It won't take long for the coconut oil to melt to liquid. After this, I added olive oil slowly, stirring after every few drops of it. I added about a teaspoon. After this, I added jasmine scented essential oil, which I got at Michael's for $3.99:

It smells really good, and even came with a little dropper. I used about 5 good sized drops, but add more or less to your preference. Also, note how the scent works with or masks the natural scent of the oil. I could tell that the coconut scent of my oil would have smelled really good with a few drops of vanilla. I didn't like it so much mixed with the jasmine, so I added a bit more to cover up. To me, it seemed like the scent got a little stronger once the melts cooled.

Mix all of this together and pour into molds. You can use virtually anything as a mold. I've seen a lot of people use flexible ice cube trays. I'm just using a plastic candy mold I also got at Michael's. They have many different shapes to choose from, I got the little roses:

After the mixture has been poured into your molds, pop them into the fridge or put them in a cool, dark place to cool and set. I put mine in the fridge and they were ready within half an hour. You'll want to store these in a cool, dark, DRY place so they don't melt. 

Voila! C'est tout! Simple. Easy, easy, easy. I used the oils I have on hand and that I'm familiar with, but you can use pretty much any oil or butter that is good for the skin. Some recommendations I've come across are almond butter, almond oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter.

If you are giving these as a gift, wrap them in foil wrappers for candy, which have a wax paper backing. If you're keeping your little melts, then I suggest pouring a cup of tea or glass of wine, running a bath and using your handmade treats! 

Here are the two blogs that inspired me the most:

Check them out! Try your own concoctions, I'd love to hear what you come up with!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pretty, sweet.

It's been a really long time since my last post! I've been extremely busy (and totally stressed out) by school. Post-grad is difficult, really time consuming, yet so rewarding. I'm preparing a presentation that I will give on Thursday, I'm excited but it's taking up all my time! We're reaching the end of fall quarter, which means it's my favorite time of year. I love cold, I love fall and winter, I love the holidays. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Now, onto a fashion update. I stayed home from work today to get school stuff done. That's one of the main things I love about my job, they understand that I'm a student and school comes first. These days, I really appreciate the leeway and support! I had to run some errands, so I still tried to rock a relatively noteworthy outfit (otherwise I would have stayed in- and still been in- my pajamas!):


It wasn't the coldest day today (it's been heating up here in Riverside again) but it was nice, so I chose a lightweight but warm off the shoulder top I got at a local thrift store when I was visiting my parents. It was originally a turtleneck, but I loved the color. I nabbed it for $1 and cut the neck off, like I do many of my thrifted tops. I paired this with skinny jeans, a leopard print headband and pair of my favorite flats.

I pinned my hair back and up, for a little extra volume at the crown. All I put on my face was mascara. Simple, cute, perfect for a laid back day!

I'm really going to try to update this blog more often. I'm also trying to branch out a bit, so feel free to comment with things you'd like to see on here.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekend goodies.

I thought I'd post a couple things that are making me happy right now.

First of all, Target has a lot of their decor items on clearance. I'm loving this, because I finally have time to nest in my new apartment! Yesterday I picked up some shelves, corner shelves and photo frames, all in a delicious bright teal, and a really cool shadowbox with a little ceramic acorn, leaf and mushroom in it.... plus kitten food and some other goodies, all for $40!

IKEA is also wonderful! I got a desk there for $20. I've been looking for some small storage baskets/boxes/containers to go on my TV unit to house random knick knacks. The closest thing I've found to something I would actually use were colorful baskets from Cost Plus, but each one was $14... then I found these boxes! They're cardboard, yes, but I loved the pattern and the color. They have lids, too, for maximum neatness.

LINGO Box with lid for paper, blue Width: 11 " Depth: 13 ¾ " Height: 7 " Package quantity: 2 pack  Width: 28 cm Depth: 35 cm Height: 18 cm Package quantity: 2 pack

I'll be spending most of today in doing homework. Right now I'm writing a paper on the Venus de Milo. It's making me long to be back in Paris, like I was this past summer... so much history and beauty in one city! For now, I'll just write and dream.... til I can go back!

I've been thinking of going downtown. There's a coffeehouse I used to frequent as an undergrad; some of my best and hardest work was done there. I need the inspiration right now... I just may go.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One hot autumn day...

I love fall fashion. I love fall, period, but I love fall fashion- I'd rather wear tights, mary janes, slouchy sweaters, boots, booties, denim, plaid, scarves, military coats, flannel... the list goes on, than anything else. I prefer fall to winter for the fact that I can still wear all my favorite skirts and dresses, pulled together with a cardi, coat or blazer, at any time. Especially here in southern California, where it seems like it's always fall weather, until the summer when it gets blazing hot. The past week or so has been wonderful, but the weather gods decided to take that from us today.

I woke up and immediately pretended the weather was still perfect. I put on a pot of coffee, put a roast in the slow cooker for dinner, and cuddled up on the couch under a quilt before work. Of course, my AC was on... but it was a good morning. :)

When I started getting ready for work, though, I decided I couldn't go all day long pretending it was fall. I decided to thrown on one of my warm weather staples, a t-shirt that I sliced the neck and shoulders off of, some comfy jeans and a pair of flats. My photography class met at a gallery today, so I knew I'd be walking around downtown. As I was getting ready, I was really feeling this awesome 50's pinup vibe, so I ended up wearing my favorite bright red lipstick and a muted, earth-tone cat eye. Here are a few shots of my outfit, I apologize for the quality:

Again, sorry for the picture quality. I took them right before I left with my phone. I think I'll be getting a professional camera for Christmas, but until then, this is the best I can do!

Today has been good, and I'm looking forward (not really) to an afternoon of homework and (yes really) to an evening with the boyfriend.

Try to stay cool (or warm!),


Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Big Picture: a panel discussion in downtown Riverside.

Last night I attended a panel discussion at Riverside's Culver Center of the Arts. I went for class, but I'm really glad I had that push. It was exciting, and the photographer's involved in the Legacy Project actually had some interesting things to say. The presentation was lovely, and I got to have a really nice discussion with my professor afterwards about the inherent novelty of the whole thing. I got some pictures at the event:

I wore black F21 harem pants, black heals and a cream colored Ralph Lauren top from Bloomingdale's. I loved my outfit, it was a bit like a sexy, feminine tuxedo look, and I felt stunning... yet it was simple, and I wasn't overdressed or uncomfortable. Perfect.

I wish I had gotten a couple shots of my outfit, but I wasn't able too, because the boyfriend didn't join me this time. But this is going to be a go-to outfit this fall, I can tell!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blogging with the best of 'em.

I want to write about fashion. Not for money, not for fame. For fun. Because it's what I care about. I figure the best way to start is to just start, maybe one person will read or one million. I just want to inspire women (and men) to be who they are, to love themselves regardless and unconditionally.

Wear what you want.

Have fun.

Live on the edge of a knife or in the middle of a field.

Do what you want.