Cupcakes and Sunshine: January 2019

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Winding Down with Cozy Winter Citrus Tea


The Lord has been so kind to show me areas where I need to slow down lately, and it's been an intentional practice to rest and relax. This hasn't always been natural to me, but whoah, it has been all sorts of humbling and fruitful and good.


Working from home is definitely a gift, but at any time, I have about 10-12 tabs (🤦‍♀️) open. And that's how my brain feels as well if I don't take time to surrender my to-do list, timeline, worldly thoughts, fears, multi-tasking, and distractions.

(You too?)


For the past few years, I've prayed about a word of the year. Last year, "intention" was my word, and this year- surrender. I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to teach me through the posture and practice of surrender, and I already feel like I've learned so much in just these past couple weeks.

This hot tea is one of my favorites for when it's time to wind down- sweet honey + winter citrus + soothing chamomile.

Slice some fresh oranges and lemons, boil your water, add your tea (I like yogi tea the best) and a generous spoonful of honey (local if you have it!) + splash of apple cider vinegar.


I've been listening to this playlist lately, and would suggest serving this tea alongside it.

Happy Sunday, friends



Friday, January 18, 2019

We're Jammin'


It's Friday, and we're jammin'! I attended a wedding a couple of weeks ago and as we were leaving, we were gifted sweet fruit jams/jellies.

And then after having toast for breakfast almost every single day (one avocado toast + one jam toast + coffee) since that wedding, decided that I should make some of my own since my diminishing supply of jam wasn't going to keep up much longer with my daily breakfast habits.


This recipe is EASY. You could even say the making of this breakfast jam is totally "cheating." The cashier in Walmart (the best place to get these mini mason jars, worst place to go at 4:00pm on a weekday) even said so when he commented on the frozen fruit I purchased to make it. Something along the lines of, "I see you're making jelly...you do realize you're cheating. You can't use frozen fruit."

It's fine, we're fine. We're going for simple here. :) Easy jam is better than no jam, sir.


I'd love to make real jam- where you boil your jelly jars, slice fresh picked berries/fruit, use thermometers to measure temp, etc. But with all the busy of the New Year, that just wasn't happening this time.

This jam is sweet and you use pectin to thicken it. If you were to make it and "preserve" it, there would be a lot more steps. But this jam only lasts a week. (that's why you go to Walmart at 4:00pm on a weekday to buy mini mason jars- to share with friends before the week is up!)

Here's the recipe I used:
2 lbs of frozen fruit (I used a mix of strawberry, peach, pineapple)
2 TBS of Pectin
1/2 cup of water
1 1/3 cup of sugar (this is a lot of sugar. reduce at your own discretion)

Add frozen fruit, water, and sugar in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil. Add 2 TBS. of pectin and stir. Reduce to a low boil for ~15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for ~10 minutes. You have to be really exact here ;) Then pour frozen fruit mixture into the blender. Once blended, pour into Mason Jars and let cool on the counter for ~20 minutes, and then place in the fridge.

*This jam does need to stay refrigerated since we didn't take all of those extra preserving steps.

Serve on toast- I suggest one avocado toast + one jam toast + bottomless cups of coffee.









Thursday, January 10, 2019

Favorite Natural Products for the New Year + Simplicity/Intentionality


I love the month of January- a time to refocus, restart, and set some intentions for the year. Every January, I find myself coming up with so many new ideas and goals- more water, gym time, books, cleaning, travel, no spending, extra saving, more friend gatherings, more no's, more yes's, etc.

I don't know if it is the big break between Christmas and New Year's that gets my thoughts spinning and churning, but I can easily get caught up in so many "resolutions," that I forget about simplicity, rest, and grace.

This year, I'd love to focus on simplicity over "doing more." It's not all about the hustle and to-do list. I'm sharing some of my favorite simple products today that focus on natural ingredients and have reminded me of simple intentionality in each day.

Skincare: 



I've been loving BioClarity's skincare line. It is a 3-step plant based, vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free line. Parabens are preservatives in many skin care products/washes that we don't need. Love that this line was created without harsh chemicals.


Some of my other favorite simple care skin tips: wash pillowcases and sheets often, don't press your phone (germs!) to your face when chatting, and sip on iced lemon water throughout the day. No crazy rules or checklist have-to's. Just the simple things.


Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel is another one of my favorite skincare products. In addition to smelling like a fresh rose garden, this natural toner cleanses + soothes. It naturally relieves irritation, and calms inflamed skin. I love this stuff, and use a clean cotton round to apply in the morning and evening.

(Also^^ that TheraBreath mouth rinse is incredible. It's a little more than I'd usually pay for mouth wash, but it is all-natural, certified gluten free 🙌, and doesn't contain any alcohol or artificial flavors)


Makeup: 

I found out I had Celiac my sophomore year of college, and you wouldn't think that many lipsticks/lip colors contain gluten, but unfortunately this is not the case! I started looking for a gluten-free makeup brand and came across Tarte, which has won many awards and has some pretty incredible products that I love. Most every makeup product I buy now is from Tarte.


Clean



There's not much competition here- Mrs. Meyer's is what we use in the kitchen! I love the sweet scents, and this company's focus on real ingredients and no crazy chemicals. I purchased some generic store-brand simple + free laundry detergent & sprinkle Mrs. Meyer's laundry Booster powder (a little more budget-friendly than purchasing just their detergent) in before washing to keep my clothes smelling fresh. The lavender scent is pretty dreamy.


Learning about essential oils and all of their benefits is intriguing- oils have been around for 100s of years, curing ailments and even helping prevent the black plague! I love diffusing lavender and lemon oil each night when I'm sleeping, or while working each day. I am going to look into making some essential oil cleaners/sprays in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned!

I'm always down to hear about natural products and solutions. I'd love to hear your favorites, and New Year's resolutions as well!

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