Friday, September 12, 2014

The Skinny Girl's PSL

There's always a lot of hype surrounding 'pumpkin spice' season. Every year thousands of restaurants, blogs and coffee shops release pumpkin flavoured anything and everything you can  imagine. 
My favourites are always the ones that I can read the ingredients lists for. If I can't pronounce it, I don't want to put it in my body! 

Unfortunately, the Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice flavoured drinks don't even contain any actual pumpkin, which makes it a total loser for this season in my book. 

However, I love a creamy cup of seasonal goodness as much as the next red blooded American girl, so over the years I've developed my own recipe... and honestly It tastes 1000% better than any I've tried at a coffee shop! 
But don't take my word for it... make your own Skinny Girl PSL and tell me you didn't enjoy it so much more knowing you weren't pumping your tummy full of unpronounceable chemicals and untold amounts of sugar!


If you loved this recipe or want to try more healthy PSL alternatives check out the recipes from some of my favourite bloggers below:



With Love, Rachel


Saturday, September 6, 2014

DIY : Fur Coat To Vest

This isn't so much a 'tutorial' as it is an inspirational post to give you some ideas for upgrading thrifted clothing.

Often times when I'm thrift shopping I need to pause at an item to really imagine its potential. When I found this brown beaver fur coat, I really had no intention of wearing it as-is. I'm sorry, but as pretty as it is, massive brown furs make me think of little old ladies! However, I had been shopping online for a faux fur vest to wear this season. The selections however were far over-priced in my opinion. So when I saw this fur coat at my favourite thrift store for €12 {about $15.50} I realized I could easily alter it a bit to make a vest. 

When you're shopping for items to alter be sure to check the quality of the lining. If the lining is falling apart you will most likely need to sew a completely new one with new fabric. When shopping for furs or leather, be sure to confirm that it is still supple and not cracking or shedding. There is really not much altering you can do with an aging fur or leather piece without ruining it.


{Note for step three: The reason for cutting the fur away instead of opening the seam is so you can preserve the finished edges that have already been created when the coat was originally made. This will reinforce the arm holes. It is so much easier to stitch fabric to a raw leather edge than to an open seam.}

{Note for step four: If you go into the fabric from the side of the fur it is much easier to penetrate and catch all the layers than going in from the leather side. The fur side is naturally perforated where the hairs attached to the animal hide.}

 
I'd love to hear about your favourite thrifted finds or thrift makeovers! Leave me a comment below!
With Love, Rachel
P.S. If you'd like to find new treasure hunting ground in your local area check out the Thrift Shopper Registry HERE! Simply input the city/zip code and State you wish to search.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How To : Wear a Blanket Scarf

Today's post is certainly not an original concept. There are more than likely literally 100s of scarf tying tutorials out there... This post is simply to round up my favorites for easy access!
First, you'll need a blanket scarf. Every year Zara releases a beautiful array of plaid/tartan blanket scarves in the softest of weaves... however, they always sell out very fast (within weeks usually of becoming available online). 
For those of you who missed the most popular 2013 style you can now PRE-ORDER it from the Glitter&Bow Goody Bar on Etsy!** I have these available at my wholesale price discount since there's a 3 week wait. But trust me... you'll be the envy of all your fashionable friends and followers when they see you snagged one of the season's most coveted accessories!

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Now on to the tying tutorials!

I love this visual photo inspiration board to start us off with some ideas from popofstyle.com. As you can see, you really don't want to tie this type of scarf too tightly because of its voluminous size and pretty pattern being hidden!

Here's a 7-step tutorial for the 'half tie' from ClassySassyBlog.

Above is a 6-step photo tutorial from CortInSession for the simple drape that's probably most popular.

Here is a video tutorial in case all that plaid is making you see double!

Let me know your favorite ways to tie scarves with a comment below!

With Love, Rachel
**As of 9/4/14 the scarf pre-order is closed but check back in November for re-stock!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Triple Threat :: An Easy DIY Detox for Fall

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I've noticed lately that my beauty, health and fitness posts get more views and shares than any other type (even though this is primarily a craftsy DIY blog!) so I decided to write another one!

This time I'm sharing 3 of my favourite detox secrets to re-fresh and rejuvenate before the cold weather sends us all into the blues! I've been doing these 3 things pretty much all Summer and it has really helped improve my mood, maintain (and lose!) weight, clear my skin and rev up my energy levels, as well as other health benefits I will share further down.

Everybody needs a good thorough detox every 3-6 months in my opinion. Even if you only detox for 3 days your body will surely thank you. I'm also a firm believer in incorporating new ways to be healthy into my lifestyle that aren't just 'trendy' or 'in', but that will be realistic additions to my daily routine. That's why I've compiled this list of ultra easy ways to detox.

#1. Oil Pulling
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I've raved about coconut oil before. And why not?! It can literally be used for everything... facial washes, hair health, detoxing, baking, cooking... the list is endless.

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is basically using coconut oil as a mouth wash and swishing the liquid for 10-20 minutes a day. The oil pulls toxins from your body. You can oil pull while you're doing any other task, which makes it the easiest way to detox on this list.

Why do I need to oil pull?

Oil pulling is an a Ayurvedic health practice, which use has been recorded as far back as 800 B.C. that does the following:
  • Reduces bloating/water weight. (When you first start, do it daily for about 3 weeks so you really see give the practice time to reap benefits, then you can do 2-3 times a week onward.)
  • Clears skin
  • Reduces tooth and gum sensitivity. If you have any gum disease, cavities, or oral health problems in general, give this a try.
  • More hydrated. You will feel more hydrated and less thirsty.
  • Whitens teeth. (This is the thing I noticed first when I started oil pulling).
  • Great hangover cure 
  • And a LOT more... 
  • {sources & further reading: 1, 2, 3, 4}
How do I oil pull?
Take about a teaspoon amount of solid coconut oil (any virgin, organic coconut oil at your local Whole Foods or healthier alternative grocery store is fine) in your mouth. As you begin swishing the oil around it will dissolve into liquid at 72 degrees F. Swish for at least 10 minutes (but 15-20 is best). Do not swallow the liquid. It will be toxic as it is pulling toxins from your body. Spit into the trash (the oil will clog your sink drain!) and then swish with warm water and salt for a few moments to ease the irritations caused by the oil pulling.
Note: You can oil pull first thing in the morning (before you take food or drink of any sort) or at night last thing before brushing your teeth.
 
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#2. Apple Cider Vinegar

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What does it do?
Apple cider vinegar has long been touted as a miracle worker. The main substance in vinegar, acetic acid, can kill bacteria and/or prevent them from multiplying and reaching harmful levels. It has a history of use as a disinfectant and natural preservative.

Why do I need Apple Cider Vinegar?
Vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria.
Can lower blood sugar.
Aids in weight loss.
Aids in heart health.
Protective against cancer. 
And MUCH more...
{sources & further reading: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7}

How do I Take Apple Cider Vinegar?
You can really amp up the effects of ACV by combining it with other proven health-benefiting substances such as warm water, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon which aid in digestive health, blood pressure regulation, appetite oppression, skin rejuvenation and heart health. 

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First, warm about 10-12 oz. of water. After pouring into a glass, add 2 tsp. of ACV (I prefer THIS kind), 1 tsp organic cinnamon powder, 1tbsp raw honey, 1 tbsp lemon juice. Stir ingredients together and sip until finished.

Note: Even though I'm not discussing them today, if you want to read a bit about health benefits of honey, lemon juice and cinnamon simply do a quick internet search and read a few articles.

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#3 Salad Meal Smoothies
We all know the benefits of eating your fruits and veggies... so I really don't need to go into that... but I find a lot of times when I am making a salad or eating fruit during the day I add a lot of stuff to the process that packs on the calories and sodium content for my day. Such as salad dressings, croutons, turkey bacon bits and dipping apple slices and celery in peanut butter or nutella. Sometimes I feel as if I've negated the benefits of the good stuff by drowning it in chemicalized substances we call food.

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Here's my solution for this: Meal Smoothies. 
Now I know you're thinking... and I agree, no one likes feeling so hungry they go into a blind food rage after drinking a 'smoothie' in the name of health only to ruin it because it didn't do the trick!

The way I make smoothies does NOT leave me hungry and I'll tell you why... I detox my entire system for days at a time by blending 10+ fruits and vegetables together in each 'meal'.
This might sound insane but it totally works. Your body is still getting all the nutrients it needs without taking a single bite.

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I have 2 favourite recipes I like to alternate: {click on each food item for a link to it's health benefits.}

The Green Salad:
+spinach +kale +banana +avocado +celery +carrots +almond milk +tomatoes +pink lady apples +butternut squash
Blend well and enjoy!

The Fruit Salad:
+mango +peaches +strawberries +avocado +almond milk +apples +pears + blood oranges +raspberries +blueberries +figs
Blend well and enjoy!

It is really amazing how full these 'meals' keep me and how vitamin and nutrient packed they are! Every fruit and vegetable has their own detox DNA that does something special and amazing for your body. Do a little internet research and mix your own meal cocktail! Click HERE for lists of smoothie recipe ideas.

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Thanks for sticking with me through such a long post! I hope you found some informative new inspiration to make your lifestyle a little cleaner.


With Love, Rachel