Thursday, January 24, 2013

SOTD - 01.24.13

Are you up to the challenge of making today's Smoothie of the Day?!
Fun Fact: it's not really a challenge. I just want to remember how to make this again sometime.

1 small banana
1/2 (ish) c. frozen blueberries
2 kale ice cubes (method found here)
spoonful (virgin) coconut oil
almond milk

You know your smoothie? It's all bluuue.

Aside from being tasty, this smoothie was a success because:
1. Those kale cubes blended in better than straight up, raw kale.
2. It is dairy free, if you like that sort of thing.
3. I bought a giant bucket of frozen blueberries last fall, so anything with blueberries wins.

So there you have it! What are you drinking this snowy Thursday morning? Yes, it's 11 degrees outside, I brushed an inch of snow off my car, and I had a smoothie for breakfast. Don't worry though, I've now moved on to one of my favorite teas.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Things I Like to Smell - Vol. I

Do you have certain scents that trigger memories for you? Or, conversely, when you reflect on some time, place, or person that was special to you, does a smell come with that memory? It does for me. For example, freshly baked bread smells like being home because my mom is the best at making bread. Even though my first boyfriend was over a decade ago, I can still tell when I walk by someone wearing the same cologne. And after my grandma passed away, I considered buying some vintage Avon talc powder at a flea market  because she had it in her bathroom for as long as I can remember.

photo credit

Anyone who spends a significant amount of time around me will quickly learn how much I like to smell things. Justin and I almost always spend some time smelling seasonal candles wherever we find them. Teavana and Penzeys both endeared themselves to me from my first visits, simply because you're allowed to smell all the things. And sometimes when I am sad or bored, I will go to a grocery store and stand around smelling the different body washes or fabric softeners. I'm well aware that it's things like this that make me obviously normal and not weird at all.

Without further ado, here are some things I am currently fond of smelling. This volume of Things I Like to Smell was inspired by my friend Kerry's post on beating the winter blues. Even though we had a freakishly nice weekend (high five, global warming!) it is back to feeling wintery here in Ohio and these are the smells that cheer me up despite the weather.

photo credit
1. Sea Spray from Lush Cosmetics
My friend Vicky gave me some of this and it has gradually become my new BFF. I like it for all its intended reasons (like making me not look as if I'm trying to cosplay Hermione Granger in my daily life) but the most surprising thing for me was the scent. This product is the perfect reminder of sunny, windy, sea-salty days. I don't know how they do it, but I've found it a pleasant surprise to catch a whiff of summer when it's all of 12 degrees outside.

2. Orange & Cranberry Scones
Whether it's because this is the first flavor I ever made, or just the fact that citrus is such a happy smell, baking off a batch of these scones always smells the best to me. Find a recipe, make yourself some tea, and and eat one while they're still warm from the oven. Trust me on this.

3. Stauf's Market Spice Tea
Speaking of tea, this one is amazing. It tends to get cold before I can finish it because I'm always torn between wanting to keep smelling it and wanting to drink it. If you like orange-y cinnamon teas, this is the best one I've had yet.

4. Woodsmoke
My parents have a wood-burning stove in their house, so this is another smell that always reminds me of home. The combination of clean, cold air and the drifting smoke never fails to take me back to the days of bundling up and going out to play in the snow with my brothers.

5. Homemade Yujacha
I found this post on Pinterest about a Korean concoction of honey and lemons that you add to hot water to make a drink that's good for fighting colds. Since I love honey and lemons, I had to try it. I also added slices of fresh ginger to mine, and sweet merciful heavens it could not possibly smell any better than it does. It also tastes good, which I was concerned about with leaving the pith of the lemon in there. I am almost through my first jar of it, and I haven't even been sick.

So am I the only one who just wanders though life smelling things? Or could I run into you in the laundry aisle the next time I'm lurking in a grocery store? Either way, I hope you get to smell some of your favorite things today too! As for me, I think I'll be making some tea shortly!