Matcha+Manuka

Thankfully, my hay fever has not been too bad so far this year, but today’s sunny weather has resulted in my sinuses beginning to complain… So I decided on some pampering to make staying in doors more enjoyable.

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I started off with an organic matcha latté, using some lovely culinary grade matcha from new start up Mad Matcha. I felt in need of the skin loving, health bringing nutrients of matcha. I have a milk frother, which whisks the milk whilst heating it. It’s pretty much my favourite kitchen gadget. Mine is made by VonShef and will froth milk cold or heat and froth it. I’ve found that if you start the frother up and add a teaspoon of matcha as the milk is swirling, it disperses really well. I also added honey. Sometimes I add cinnamon or vanilla extract. In the morning I add a shot of coffee, I really like Organic Marley Coffee. I’ve made it with dairy and nut milks- all delicious.

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While I had the matcha and honey out, I decided to make a mask… I added a teaspoon each of matcha and manuka honey then a few drops of rose hip oil, all of which are renowned for their healing properties…

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… To make a very swampy, yet effective, mask! FYI, I tried taking face mask selfies with the cat next to me, with the intention of an amusing face swap, but the app did not recognise either of us as having a face. This is a shame, but suggests that a matcha facemask might offer adequate camouflage in a Predator type situation… As well as leaving your skin glowing. Also FYI- the bright, nourishing green of the matcha can stain your sink and fabric you might get it on, so be a little careful with it. 😉

I hope your Sunday had some space for play and self care, too.

No mud, no lotus x

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Love & Sunshine Salts

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Love & Sunshine Spa Salts

With my haul of beautiful things from Starchild, which I wrote about a little while ago, I’ve been looking forward to experimenting and trying some recipes to make up as Christmas gifts.

Today I decided to try making some salts for the bath or for a foot soak.

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My Love & Sunshine Spa Salts are made up of frankincense, rose petals, cornish sea salt and epsom salts. I chose this combination for their emotional impact – rose petals and frankincense are joyful, reassuring and peaceful scents – and for the skin loving properties of the botanicals, combined with the beneficial minerals of the salt mixture. I love making bath salts as they are a good way of using essential oils in the bath (using them neat can be a little risky – I always remember a colleague of mine who burnt her behind when the little globules of oil that float on the surface of the bath water became hot, scalding her skin as she got into her bath), I particularly like that unlike when you make a bath oil mix, salts give the benefit of the oils without making the bath slippy!

In Greek mythology, rose was sacred to Aphrodite and it is said that roses sprang up from the blood that dropped from Adonis as he lay dying. Frankincense was sacred to Helios, the sun god, who transformed the body of his lost love, a Persian Princess, into a frankincense tree after her father buried her under the sand, furious about her affair with Helios… However, despite these blood thirsty legends, the fragrances of frankincense and rose blend beautifully together, so let’s just remember the love and sunshine bit!

How to make

Ingredients:

200g of your chosen salts (I used 1 third epsom salts, 2 thirds cornish sea salts – obviously you could make a bigger batch if you wanted to, with your choice of salts… Himalayan salts would be gorgeous for this, also)

a handful of red rose petals

5-8 drops of frankincense oil (to your preference)

(optional – you may want to add rose oil too. I felt the petals gave enough scent, but it depends of the quality of the petals and your own taste in terms of the frankincense/rose balance of your blend).

Method:

I crushed my rose petals lightly in a pestle and mortar, to release the oils a little and to break some of the petals down into smaller pieces.

Place all of your ingredients into a container with a lid (I used the empty epsom salt container which had a tight lid). Shake vigorously, until the salts start to take on a pink tinge from the petals.

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Decant into container/s of your choice… I put mine into individual glass mini jars (which I picked up from a charity shop) with about enough for one ample bath or a couple of foot soaks in each (approx 50g), to go into my Christmas present hampers. I’ll be adding other mixes to the hampers and will post any recipes that come out particularly nicely later on!

How to use…

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I kept back some for myself, adding about 50g to my bath, giving it a good stir to disperse the salts. It smelled wonderful and the petals were very pretty. I had fun playing with the petals, scooping them up and sniffing the mingled rose and frankincense scents.

However, if you don’t enjoy petals sticking to you a little or picking them out of the plug hole afterwards (this didn’t bother me, it was part of the fun), then it also would make a wonderful, luxurious foot bath for a home spa treatment, after a hard day or prior to a very swanky home pedicure.

I’m looking forward to giving these as gifts and will be picking out some pretty labesl from Graphics Fairy.

I had so much fun making these salts – what have you been making lately?

Lucy x

No mud, no lotus