Life and Living Naturally

Fall has arrived in DC, my sister and her boyfriend visited from Florida and had the perfect weather for playing tourist.

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We made a trip downtown for a food truck lunch and stopped by the National Zoo.

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Hopped over to Georgetown for some serious shopping. Katie is a master at finding deals, we both bought markdowns at 60-70% off. Fall wardrobe complete!

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Of course I also shared my stockpile of Perfectly Posh products, Katie has been trying some of their skin line so I introduced her to some of the other body products (bee’s knees body scrub, witchy body wash).

I try not to be too pushy with sharing Posh, I know I tend to shutdown when someone is overwhelming in their sales approach.  I want to share some of the reasons I started moving my personal products towards more natural and high quality ingredients.

  1.  Too many chemicalstoxins

Women on average apply an average of 168 products per day. (article) Every day you hear of another mysterious chemical or common ingredient that is linked to illness and even death. I’ve been trying to simplify the products I’m using both on myself and around the house.  I don’t just go with the cheapest option on the shelf.  Same with my pets, the horror stories of animals that have died due to contaminated and dangerous products from China have made me much more aware.

2.  Know the source

It’s common knowledge that there are many factories and companies abroad that do not care for the health of their workers or their consumers.

I’ve found clothing companies (Everlane) that are committed to treating their employees well. Educating myself on the local farm to table movement and how large volume food production impacts our health. (Thanks PBS!) I haven’t fully embraced organic foods when I shop at the grocery store, but I’m working on it and making better choices for my body in the long term.

3.  Environmental Impactliquid-soap                                                                                 (image source)

We are learning that even the smallest ingredient can impact the ecological environment in big ways.  From plastic micro beads clogging up fresh water lakes (800 Trillion Plastic Micro Beads go down the drain every day) to bleaching of natural coral reefs via sunscreen. It’s impossible not to see the impact our daily routine has on the world around us.

My answer: Perfectly Posh

Posh prides themselves on using high quality ingredients, locally sourced, and made in the U.S.A.

Everything is $25 and under, keeping high quality pampering available to everyone.

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I don’t expect Posh to work for everyone, it’s one of many companies that are now focusing on more simple ingredient lists and environmentally friendly business practices.  But if you haven’t considered them, check out my site.  I wouldn’t have signed up to represent their products if I wasn’t genuinely excited about what they offer.

Sarah

Apple Cinnamon Macaron Recipe

It’s been a couple months since I baked some french macarons, so it was time to experiment with some fall flavors.

This is my spin on apple cinnamon macarons with brown sugar cinnamon frosting. The macarons turned out as one of my most flavorful recipes and my taste testers finished them off within a day.

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Some notes on my baking process, I use both Trader Joe’s almond flour and freeze dried apples.

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The apple slices give a great authentic apple flavor to the cookies.

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I also use a baking mat specifically designed for macarons, you can find many options on Amazon.

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Apple Cinnamon Macarons (adapted form Sur La Table macaron recipe)

Yield: 35 sandwich cookies

7 ounces powdered sugar, divided

4 ounces almond flour or meal

1/3 cup of crushed dried apples

4 large (4 ounces) egg whites, room temperature

Pinch of cream of tartar

3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp  ground cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees (for my specific oven I prefer 315-320). Line the baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

Pulse 1/3 of the confectioners’ sugar, crushed apples and all the almond flour in a food processor to form a fine powder. Using a fine sieve, sift the mixture 2 times, then sift the remaining powdered sugar 2 times. Combine almond flour mixture with remaining powdered sugar. Set aside.

To make the meringue: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a wire whip attachment, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar. Once all sugar is incorporated, scrape down sides of bowl, add extract and cinnamon, and increase speed to high, whisking until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form.

To complete the macaronnage step: Sift the almond flour mixture one-third at a time over the egg white mixture and fold using a large spatula until mixture is smooth and shiny. Once all the almond flour mixture is incorporated, check for the correct consistency, as the batter should be nicely firm and drip slowly from the spatula.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain round tip (#12) and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds on parchment-line baking sheets. Gently tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. (The more humid the air, the longer they should sit) Check for a slight crust to form. The macarons should not stick to finger when lightly touched.

Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10-15 minutes. If the macarons are still soft inside, lower oven to 300 degrees F, cover with aluminum foil and bake for a few more minutes.

Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling with buttercream (recipe below). Store in air tight container in fridge or freezer.

Cinnamon Sugar Buttercream

  • 1 stick softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cimmanon
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

Directions: To prepare buttercream, beat softened butter and powdered sugar until creamy and smooth. Add cinnamon and brown sugar to the frosting, beating until combined. Place buttercream into a medium pastry bag with a large round tip attached and pipe a dollop of frosting on the center of a macaron and top with a second macaron. Serve room temperature. Store any remaining macarons in the refrigerator.

Enjoy these flavorfull treats!!

Sarah

New Addition – Little Maya

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It was inevitable, my first foster failure is little Maya.  She won me over within a week.

Maya came with her brothers Austin and Walt to recuperate from some kennel cough.

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All three were little heart breakers. Playful and affectionate with a skill for kitten trouble making. I could have easily kept her brothers as well.

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They shared my affinity for serious coma-like naps.

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But something about Maya’s sweet nature won me over completely.

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This past weekend Walt and Austin were adopted together by a great family, they found their forever homes together!

So the tally now is up to three cats and one dog.

National coffee day 

Cutting back on the caffeine? Posh has some amazing coffee treats that are good for your skin! 

 
You can easily get 20-25 uses from this body scrub, that’s a $1 a shower!

 Posh tip: this Snarky bar can be sliced into three smaller bars and will last 2-3 months.

Get some coffee without the caffeine crash!

Sarah

https://www.perfectlyposh.com/sarahdiylifestyle/ 

Oatmeal Fruit Crisp

This recipe has been my go-to for fresh summer fruit and will now transition to my favorite fall fruit – apples!

I’ve used this same recipe to make an all rhubarb, all strawberry, and a peach/blueberry combo. Have 3.5 – 4 cups of fruit no matter what you choose.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Crisp

Filling:
2 tbsp. cornstarch
½ cup (4 ounces/125 grams) sugar
6 medium stalks rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups (8 ounces/250 grams) strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise

Topping:
1 cup (5 ounces/155 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup (1.5 ounces/45 grams) all-purpose flour
⅓ cup (3 ounces/90 grams) sugar
⅓ cup (2.5 ounces/75 grams) firmly packed golden brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions:
1.Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Have ready a 2.5 quart ceramic or glass pie dish or baking dish.

2. For the Filling: In a large bowl, stir together the rhubarb, strawberries, cornstarch and sugar until well mixed. Pour into the baking dish, and set aside.

3. For the Topping: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, rolled oats, sugars, cinnamon and salt until well blended. Stir in the melted butter until evenly moistened crumbs form. Spoon the crumb mixture over the filling.

4. Bake the crisp until the rhubarb is tender when tested with a toothpick, the juices are bubbling, and the topping is golden brown. Add chopped nuts to topping last 10-15 minutes of baking, total bake time 35-40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Note: The crisp can be cooled, covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. Rewarm in a 250-degree F oven for 15 minutes before serving. Preferably with a substantial scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Why Posh

Two posts in one week! Crazy talk

I want to introduce you guys to a little business endeavor I’m trying out. I figured instead of just throwing out some marketing materials randomly, I’d explain why I decided to get involved with Perfectly Posh  with the business and what factors impacted my decision.

Posh Summary

For a long time I’ve been thinking about how/when I could start exploring having my own business.  I try to stay open to ideas and possibilities, there seem to be so many exciting small businesses out there.  Do I want to start a bakery? coffee shop? etsy shop? furniture restoration? start flipping houses? It’s been difficult for me to pinpoint where my strongest skills are and what I could do full time and still enjoy.

I was first introduce to Perfectly Posh back in July by my friend Sharon.  She had just signed up as a consultant and peaked my interest.  I had never heard of the business and their packaging is really appealing to me.  Finally got ahold of some samples and liked what I tried.  Talked with Sharon about the buy-in for starting my own business, $99 for a starter kit. What appeals to me? The packaging, natural ingredients, and cruelty free product.

11924771_970891519820_375984976079277419_nSome background, I witnessed my own mom get into a sales pyramid arrangement and it ended badly.  It was for a nutritional supplement program in the late 90’s.  They required their consultants to purchase high amounts of product and by the time my mom got out she was in debt $4,000.  I saw first hand the stress and pressure to sell to every person you knew and all the leftover unsold product once my mom got out.  So I’m already uneasy of these types of businesses.  I also have more then a couple Mary Kay ladies blocked on my phone, way too aggressive.

So why get involved with Perfectly Posh?  Here are my reasons in a nutshell:

  • Market saturation – Mary Kay has 3 million consultants, Avon has 5.8 million, Perfectly Posh just hit 30,000.  I hadn’t seen any Perfectly Posh info floating around my area and circle of friends, I feel like this is a good time to get ahead of the curve.
  • Tailored business model – There are plenty of options for growing your business in Perfectly Posh – they support more then the traditional house party. Social media tools and website sales are supported and encouraged.  I don’t know personally what I’ll be comfortable doing from a sales perspective, so I’ll test the waters and see how it goes.
  • Marketing/Branding tools- I’m using this experience as a trial run of starting my own business down the road.  I can work on where I know some of my shortcomings are – talking to strangers, public events – and the product is already created, packaged, and ready to go.
  • Most importantly – I actually like the products and get excited about trying them!

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I’ll occasionally post some information on the blog about products I like, but will also post what I learn from the business side. Part of being dedicated to a Do It Yourself lifestyle is being your own boss 🙂

Wish me luck!

Sarah

Summer Fun & eSalon Update

Hi Guys!

It’s been a fun summer, I had a chance to take a road trip up the East Coast and finally visit Portland, Maine and a bunch of small towns.  I used AirBnB for the first time and got to check out this adorable rustic cabin on a farm! Loved. It was a great break from tourist attractions, breweries and eating all the lobster rolls.

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The cabin was in the pasture so I woke up to these guys hanging outside.

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Loved playing tourist and seeing some beautiful new sites, can’t wait to return!

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I also took in some new foster kittens from Lost Dog Rescue, they are recovering from some parasites but are so playful and affectionate. They are at least 16 weeks old, so almost teenagers.

Foster kitten

Time to get them adopted while they still have the kitten charm!

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A quick update on my review of eSalon, its now been close to 5 weeks since I initially tried the hair color and I’m really impressed with the staying power.  With the boxed hair color (John Frieda) I would see some grey hairs showing through two weeks after applying the color.  The eSalon product is sticking to my greys and even the growth at my roots is not noticeable.

4 Weeks After Coloring

Not my most flattering picture, but no greys!!

I think it has also helped that I’ve been applying their color enhancing treatment once a week to extend the coverage.

eSalon Color Treatment

So I’ll be continuing to use the eSalon hair color, they have an auto-ship service that is easy adjust based on how often you want to color your hair.  I do highly recommend uploading a selfie to their system, they adjusted my color choice based on reviewing my photo and adjusted the hair color from what I initially picked.  Check them out! 

What was the highlight of your summer?

Sarah