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August 27, 2018

Healthy Recipe: Banana, Blueberry & Greek Yoghurt Muffins

I LOVE to bake, but I’m often short on time or fancying a sweet treat at the last minute – so any recipe that’s quick and with a simple ingredients list is right up my alley. I adapted this one from the Taste website, but I cut back on the refined sugar and added some protein & omega-3s from flax seeds. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Ingredients

2 cups of self raising flour (wholemeal if you have it)

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 heaped Tbsp flax seed meal

1 large banana, mashed

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsps milk (more if needed)

1/3 cup greek yoghurt

Large handful of fresh or frozen blueberries (if they’re frozen, let them thaw for 30 minutes or pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds, so they’re not cold when you put the muffins in the oven).

1 Tbsp each of oats, sunflower seeds & brown sugar (for topping individual muffins).

 

Directions

Combine dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients, stirring as you go to combine. Finally, add fruit.

Spoon a (very) heaped Tablespoon into muffin tins (should make around 6-8 muffins). Top each muffin with a sprinkle of oats, sunflower seeds & brown sugar.

Bake at 180C for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

 

Enjoy!

 

healthy muffin recipe

July 16, 2018

How to make the most of bath-time

I’m not a fan of cloudy weather – but one thing I LOVE about winter is the opportunity to take baths again. A nice long bath is an easy way to unwind, de-stress and soothe tired muscles – and, as a bit of a bath aficionado, I’ve come up with a few tips as to how you can make bath-time even better. Read on!

 

1. Get everything ready beforehand

There’s nothing worse than performing the sometimes-awkward art of sliding into a bathtub (it’s never as elegant and seamless as they make it look in the movies, is it?!), then realising you have to slide yourself out again to get something. Make sure you have everything you need by the tub before you get in. So – what do you need for a blissful bath?

 

2. Get the lighting right

Trying to relax and close your eyes with a bright bathroom light right above you is near-impossible – but you need some light so you can see what you’re doing. When I take a bath, I love to use candles. I usually light one or two large scented candles and put them on a shelf near the tub. This way, I can relax and close my eyes if I want to without having to worry about any bright light; and I’m also getting some aromatherapeutic benefit from the burning essential oils.

 

3. Find yourself a bath shelf/caddy

One of my favourite-ever inventions, the bath caddy allows you to nibble, read a book, or have a glass of wine in the bath – without ever having to reach too far! I like this one from LifeSpace - it even has a fold-down book holder! Perfect.

 

4. Make the absolute most of it beauty-wise

How often do you get to lie there and do nothing? Not very often, I bet! So make the most of this quiet time and get some self-care in. Every time I take a bath I always use a face mask and a hair treatment, and just leave them to sit while I relax. My current favourites are Leahlani's Kokoleka Ritual Dessert Mask and Innersense's Hydrating Hair Masque.

 

5. Minimise interruptions

Tell your kids/partner/housemates that you’re taking a bath, so you don’t get any rude door-knocks while you’re lying there in a deep state of relaxation! There’s nothing more jarring. If you have a safe, dry place to plug in a music source so you can listen to some zen tunes, then do that too.

        



Do you have any tips for relaxation during the colder months? I’d love to hear them!

Until next time...
eve organics natural beauty boutique
May 29, 2018

How I keep my skin happy over winter: With Sarah of the Lilly Mint blog

After a long glorious summer, it’s safe to say that winter has well and truly arrived - at least here in New Zealand. We’ve already had a few 0 degree mornings, and I’ve had to say goodbye to my pretty sundresses and sandals and replace them with more practical winter coats and boots!
I’ve also noticed my skin has started to change as the weather cools down. It has become a lot more dry and rough, and I’ve had to give it a little more TLC to keep it happy. Today I wanted to share the three things that I feel really help to keep my skin in its best shape throughout the cooler months. 


OIL UP
During the warmer months, I often swap between a moisturiser and a facial oil, depending on how my skin feels and what I think it needs. Come winter, I like to use both for extra hydration and protection against the elements. At night, I’ll often apply my moisturiser and let it sink in for around 10-15 minutes, before applying a small amount of facial oil over the top. I blend this really well into my skin, focusing on under eyes, lips, and cheeks where my skin gets the driest. It’s also the perfect excuse to give your facial skin a nice massage, and a jade roller or gua sha tool can be very effective here! This oil and moisturiser combo gives my skin a double boost of moisture while I sleep, and I wake up with skin that looks a lot more hydrated, glowy, and smooth.
I honestly cannot stress how important it is to use moisturisers and oils that contains all natural ingredients, as these are what will keep you skin moisturised and protected the best. Many traditional beauty products contain petroleum-based ingredients which actually dry out the skin and cause further skin issues!


DRINK PLENTY
Okay, this one might be obvious, but drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your skin and it’s just as important to keep hydrated during the winter as during the summer. In the winter time, it can be hard to bring yourself to drink quite as much cold water so I’ll often drink cups of hot fruit or herbal tea throughout the day (you could even try adding an adaptogen powder to your tea for an extra health boost!). Even a glass of warm water with lemon is a delicious and warm winter treat. While this doesn’t replace water completely (you still want to aim for at least 6 glasses of water a day), it does help to keep you hydrated (and much warmer!)


MASK IT UP
If there is a perfect time to relax with a cuppa, a good book and a face mask…. it's winter time! I like to make the most of the darker evenings by getting into my pyjamas and relaxing with a face mask. During the winter months I like to routinely use face masks that contain hydrating properties and are packed with nourishing, rich oils (like this one). I always notice that the more often I use a mask, the better condition my skin is, so I try to opt for one at least 3 times a week. 
Other masks I enjoy using are ones that have exfoliating properties (like this one from Mokosh). It’s important to ensure you are regularly exfoliating over winter, to remove the dead skin cells that build up on the skin. This allows products like moisturisers and oils to really penetrate the skin and work their magic!

What's your favourite way to nourish your skin during winter time..?





Sarah is a self-confessed shopaholic who loves all things pretty. She's a New Zealander,
a natural beauty lover and a soon-to-be first Mum!  At her blog Lilly
Mint, you'll find all of her natural beauty, fashion, and lifestyle favourites.
May 15, 2018

Double cleansing: Worth the hype?

If you’re interested in natural beauty, then you've probably heard of this whole ‘double cleansing’ thing. But what exactly does it mean, and why should you cleanse your face twice? Well, it turns out that there's a science behind double cleansing - and lots of good reasons to do it. Read on!

The premise behind the double cleansing method is that there are two types of impurities that can cause pore blockages – oil-based impurities (like trapped sebum or makeup products) and water-based impurities (dead skin cells, bacteria molecules, pollution and sweat). Double cleansing is just a way of attacking these two types of impurities in two steps, with two different products made specifically for each job.

If you think back to high school science class, you'll remember that oil and water repel each other – they don’t much like to be around each other. So, removing them separately (with products designed to attract one or the other) actually makes a whole lot of sense.

Double cleansing isn’t a new technique – it’s been around in Japan for centuries, (geishas would need to cleanse their skin several times to remove all the paint and makeup from their faces). And this ‘deep cleanse’ is what double-cleansing is all about – aside from removing different types of dirt and buildup from the surface of the skin, it also allows for a much more thorough clean, particularly if you wear makeup on a daily basis.

If you’re currently using just one cleanser and it’s working well for you, then there may not be any reason to change your cleansing routine. But, if your skin is very congested or consistently ‘dull’ or lacklustre in appearance and it isn’t responding well to products, or if you just want to achieve a ‘better clean’ at night-time, then you might like to give double cleansing a try.

So how is it done? Well, you should start with an oil (or cream)-based cleanser, to remove makeup and withdraw oil-based impurities from clogged pores. Second, you'll use a different cleanser (usually a gel or foaming formula – but you can use your normal, everyday cleanser to finish with), to remove any remaining residue, bacteria and dead skin cells.

Not sure which cleansers to use? Here are some ideas to get you started!


Blissoma Fresh Mild Rice CleanserTata Harper Clarifying Cleanser

Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser + Purifying Cleanser

Mokosh Pure Face & Body Oil + Face Cleansing Powder

 

Or, mix and match from the above lists to create your perfect combination. Be sure to let me know how you go!

 

Until next time...

 

eve organics green beauty store

Double cleansing

April 25, 2018

How (and why) to start dry body brushing today! - with Sarah of The Lilly Mint blog



Dry Body brushing is a ritual that has been practiced and recommended by health practitioners for years, and with good reason. This easy, simple practice is highly regarded for its positive benefits not only for the skin, but the body too. 

Dry Body brushing helps to stimulate the blood and skin and promotes healthy circulation. It’s actually been proven that it helps to increase energy, so it’s a perfect ritual to include in your morning shower routine!

Body brushing also helps to redistribute the fatty deposits and other toxins under the skin, which in turn lead to a more toned and firmer appearance of the skin, and it’s for this reason that many find it useful in reducing and preventing cellulite. Of course, it’s also an effective way to exfoliate, removing the dry dead layer of skin to reveal healthy fresh skin underneath. There are so many benefits to this practise, and it’s such a simple and easy thing to do - it only takes a couple of minutes each day.

So here’s how you do it….


Starting at the feet, work up the body with long, firm strokes. You should be using enough pressure that the brush feels firm against the skin, but not painful, and your skin may be a little pink afterwards. 

5 or so passes in each area is enough, before you can move on to the next area. It’s important to brush towards the centre of the body as this sends the blood and toxins in the right direction to be disposed of.  When working near the centre of the body such as the tummy and chest, use firm circular motions. Avoid brushing your face and neck, as many dry body brushes are far too harsh to be used on the delicate facial skin!

While many may think of body brushing as a summer practise, it’s extremely important to also do this in the winter as this is when your skin is often at it’s most dry and needs the most love. I like to follow my body brushing up with a shower and an application of body oil, and the Leahlani Pua Lei Body Oil is a beautiful option. The tropical scent will leave you feeling relaxed and ready to take on the day, and the oil hydrates the skin without leaving it greasy.  
Have you tried dry body brushing? What's your favourite way to make it into a self care ritual?




Sarah is a self-confessed shopaholic who loves all things pretty. She's a New Zealander,
a natural beauty lover and a soon-to-be first Mum!  At her blog Lilly
Mint, you'll find all of her natural beauty, fashion, and lifestyle favourites.
March 30, 2018

5 easy ways to combat puffy eyes

I don’t have the biggest peepers. They’re not miniscule, but they’re small enough that when I haven’t had enough sleep/I’m not well and they puff up, I can succumb overnight to what I call ‘Tiny Eyes’.

It happens to the best of us – you go to bed looking like your normal self, and you wake up with eyes half their usual size (or in my case, just one eye. Always the same one!). 

Since my eyes are so ultra-sensitive (I can also only use hypoallergenic products on my eyes, and eye makeup was one of the first natural makeup switches I made), I’ve come up with a number of methods over the years for combatting puffiness. Here are my tips for preventing/disguising puffy eyes and making your peepers look big and bright again!

 

  1. Use Cucumber

Along with aloe vera, cucumber is one of nature’s star-soothers. Cucumber contains flavonoids, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both excellent depuffers. It also has a high water content and delivers an instant ‘cooling’ effect, helping to reduce irritation. For a quick fix in the morning, apply cold cucumber slices (from the fridge) to puffy eyes for 3-4 minutes.

If I’m feeling a bit run down, I apply Blissoma's Intense Hydration Tonique around my eyes before I go to bed. It contains plantain, heather, and cucumber hydrosol for their soothing, depuffing and hydrating benefits.

blissoma organic beauty products

 

  1. Avoid salty foods

Salt is a prime culprit for ‘water retention’ or the buildup of lymphatic fluid – which is the cause of swollen or puffy eyes. Sodium plays an important role in regulating water in the cells (more sodium = more water retention), so limiting salt intake can help to reduce swelling and puffiness all over the body; including abdominal bloating.

 

  1. Sleep correctly

Sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated gives the body a helping hand in allowing fluid to drain easily from the face - just make sure you're comfortable and your neck is well supported.

 

  1. Drink more water

Dehydration is a common cause of puffiness. This is because, when the body is dehydrated, it reacts to counter this by retaining more water (and more water retention = more puffiness). Make sure you’re drinking at least 2 litres (8 glasses) of water a day, and limit your caffeine intake.

 

  1. Use eye-opening makeup

If you wake up with puffy eyes, follow these tips to make sure you’re helping, not hindering the problem with your makeup application:
- Avoid heavy eyeliner or dark colours on the eyelids
- Dab a light, shimmery eyeshadow shade in the inner corners of the eyes to open them up
- Apply a lengthening mascara (Hynt Beauty's Nocturne Mascara is amazing for this), wiggling from the tips of the lashes upwards to avoid clumping
- If you have white eyeliner, use it to line the water lines, top and bottom. This creates the illusion of bigger eyes (more eye, less eyelid!).

 Remedies for puffy eyes

Do you have any magic tricks to keep your eyes looking bright & beautiful? I'd love to hear them!

natural beauty boutique

March 19, 2018

5 quick, easy, natural ways to boost your energy

I tend to struggle with my energy levels. I'm one of those people who just naturally seems to need a lot of sleep - If I get less than 8.5 hours or so, I'm exhausted (literally!). I do believe that everyone has a 'magic sleep number' - for some people it's 6 hours, for others it's 9 - and some of us are more able to function on little sleep than others.
But as important (and lovely) as sleep is, sometimes it's just not possible to get our magic number every night - so I've intentionally left 'get more sleep!' out of this list. If that's just not possible for you right now, here are some other, alternative ways to boost your energy - quickly and naturally. I've tried them all, and they work beautifully for me - give them a try and let me know how you go with them!

 

1) Cut down on processed foods & refined carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates include white bread, white pasta, and anything that’s made with lots of white sugar (including most processed foods or store-bought baked goods). Because they don’t contain much fibre to regulate blood sugar, refined carbohydrates (as opposed to wholemeal) tend to cause ‘spikes’ in blood sugar levels, rather than a long-term boost – so you feel great for 30 minutes or so, then you feel even worse than before.

Instead, eat plenty of high fibre foods, including vegetables, wholegrains & protein – and if you have to have sweet treats, make them yourself using wholemeal flour (or almond/coconut flour) and a low-GI sweetener like honey or agave.

 

2) Inhale, exhale

The simple act of purposefully deepening your breathing can instantly increase your energy levels. It also relaxes the mind and the muscles in the body, reducing tension (and in turn, cutting down on the energy expenditure involved in keeping muscles tensed). To make it even more effective, incorporate aromatherapy into the exercise with an energy-boosting blend - try Tata Harper's Aromatic Energy Treatment.

 

3) Incorporate adaptogenic herbs into your routine

Adaptogens help to regulate the adrenal system, which is crucial for maintaining optimum energy levels and easing stress. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing cortisol, the body’s stress hormone – and adaptogenic herbs help to buffer this effect, exerting a calming influence and increasing energy and wellbeing. For easy adaptogen blends you can add to your smoothie/morning latte, try the Balanced Pantry range.

 adaptogensBalanced Pantry's 'A Spoonful of Love' blend

4) Dry body brush

Dry body brushing is an incredibly quick and effective way to boost the circulatory and lymphatic systems, increasing the amount of oxygen circulating around the body. (More oxygen = more energy!). Take 2 minutes to brush all over in firm strokes, always brushing towards the heart. Don't own a dry body brush yet? Here's the one I use and love.

 

5) Drink more water

A great deal of fatigue is caused by dehydration – and it’s so easy to fix! If you find it hard to get your 2 litres (8 glasses) a day, try adding something to make it more palatable – like fresh fruit or vegetables (strawberries, lemons & cucumber all add a fresh summer taste to plain water. Simply wash, chop & add – then keep refrigerated). Or, if you’re more into hot drinks, switch your coffee for decaffeinated tea, & get your fluid intake that way.

 

Do you have a favourite technique for increasing your energy levels when you hit a slump? I'd love to hear it!
Until next time.. 

eve organics natural beauty boutique

5 natural ways to increase energyA real picture of me after 7.9 hours sleep.