Easy sugar wax

I talk to a lot of women at my job and one thing we All have to figure out is hair removal.

I splurged last year and got myself a laser.  It says that it is painless..... um, no not true.  It feels like getting poked with a strait pin over and over.  I'll keep using it but it is a LONG process and only kills the hair that has enough pigment in it.  That still leaves me with all the blond fuzz.

I choose waxing over shaving this time of year just because I don't like how it feels when my flannel PJ pants stick to my leg stubble.  ((come on... you know exactly what I mean))

If you have the luxury of being able to get away and have some time to yourself make an appointment to have some one do it for you.

If you are like me, and have zero time to yourself, you may want to consider doing it at home.  The good news is it is easy, costs almost nothing and will keep you hair free for 2 - 3 months.  I won't lie to you... it hurts.

Sugaring is not a true "wax" so if you chicken out you can soak it off in the shower.

You are going to need:
white sugar
filtered water
fresh lemon juice
talcum powder
glass bowl
wooden stick or spatula
cloth strips
cooking thermometer

Body wax
2 C, white sugar
1/4 C. filtered water
1/4 C. lemon juice

Heat the mixture in a sauce pan on low heat until your cooking thermometer reads 250 degrees F.  Take off heat and allow to cool back down to room temperature.  Pour the cooled mixture in a glass bowl.

Clean and dry the area you are going to wax.  I like to dust a little powder on my legs first so the wax comes off better and it doesn't hurt quite as bad.

Apply a thin layer of the white sugar wax to a small section of your leg with a wooden spatula.  Cover the area with a waxing strip and push down on the waxing strip to grab as much hair as possible.

Pull the strip off in the opposite direction of your hair growth.  Then place your hand over the area to alleviate some of the pain you experience.

If you don't have that much hair you can sometimes use the same strip for the next section.  Move the strip and rub it really good to get it to stick.  It just depends on your hair type.

If you are worried about ingrown hairs just use a toner or an acne cleanser on your skin when you are done.

It is just that easy.  Good luck!


Whip lessons

One of my favorite quotes goes like this:

"We do not grow old.  When we stop Growing we become old."

There is no better example of this than my Great Aunt Billie.  I see her every week and she is youthful and vital at 83 years of age.

About a year ago she decided that the world was going down hill and she no longer felt that safe all alone in her house at night.  I thought that she was going to tell me she wanted a roommate or to go live with one of her daughters.....

No, as it turns out she had decided that ((we)) needed to "learn the Bullwhip"!!!  You know, so we could be safe.....and sexy like catwoman.  (ok, I added the sexy part myself)

Because I love her with all my heart and would do just about anything for her I agreed to find out what we needed and where to get them. 

I found a wonderful man in New Zealand named Peter Jack.  Bless his heart!  He didn't even skip a beat when I told him that two girls wanted him to make whips for self defence.  When I told him Billie was in her 80s he told me that he could make hers lighter with a different handle so it wouldn't take as much muscle to use.  I found him to be friendly and professional.  I can't say enough good things about him.  (some of the advice he gave me has changed forever how I view my world)

Check out his web site The Whip Man.

So, we have spent the summer playing with our whips and having more fun than I ever could have imagined.  I have gotten into the habit of doing it in the morning and at night before my meditation.  Right now I only know how to do 17 different cracks.  I am working with both hands because at some point I want to do two whips at a time.  I am finding that it is great physical therapy for my chest and shoulders.  I will do it every day just for that reason alone.

This is Aunt Billie!  Isn't she the cutest?  I really hope to grow up an be just like her.  (can you tell she is waring her cataract glasses to protect her eyes? ... wish I had a pair)

Here is closer look at how absolutely beautiful these whips are.  They are truly works of art.

My whip is the black and red one.  Billie chose red and neutral. 

This kind of shows the differences in the plaiting.  (how many strands are used in the braid)  The top is a 4 plaited, 6 foot, cowhide bullwhip.  Second is my 16 plaited, shot loaded, 6 foot, kangaroo bullwhip.  Last is Billie's  12 plaited, 5 foot, kangaroo bullwhip that Peter made adjustments just for her height and age.   All of them different and beautiful!

These are the worst of my war wounds.   The one on the back actually blistered!  The good thing is you learn really quickly because you HAVE to.  There is no wondering if you did it right or not.  I recommend waring sunglasses and a long sleeve shirt!  Peter says that the whip will always remind  you when you do something wrong and how big of a reminder is up to you.    errrrmmm.....  I guess we know a little about my learning curve now....?

I named my whip Neeth the bringer of light and some of the things I have learned from her are:

1. stay in  your body.
2. focus on the moment (not the big bang at the end)
3. strength = beauty
4. be flexible and fluid
5. know what you are going to do and commit fully
6. keep trying
7. sometimes slowing it down is best
8. stay calm even when you are afraid.... soon all you will feel is the stillness
9. It is ok to be seen.  Some people are really attracted by what I do and others are totally repelled by it.  both of those reactions are fine.
10. It is ok to try/learn something new no matter what age you are.
11. Have fun and share the joy


Pumpkin cheesecake and Carmel sauce

I am going to have Thanksgiving at my house for the first time ever this year and I am so excited.  My major goal is to make it as Primal as possible with out making that a big deal.  I have been testing out ways to convert all the old comfort foods to grain free goodies that will make everyone happy and satisfied.

Deserts are a small problem because of the sugar.  I really love this one and I think it will be a big hit. Try it and see what you think!

2 cups raw pecans
1 cup of dates, pitted
1/4 tsp sea salt

In your food processor blend the nuts along with the salt till mealy.  Add the dates one at a time, but quickly so you don’t over process the nuts.  Again, Be careful not to over process. You want the batter to hold together when you pinch it.

Press the crust mixture in the bottom of your pan.  I used a 9×9 square Springform pan.  You could use any size, shape or style to fit the occasion!  Set aside while you make the filling.

2 cups raw cashews, soaked for about 2 hours (to soften them)
2 cups almond milk
2 cups cubed raw pumpkin, sugar pumpkin is the best
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 cup maple syrup or raw agave nectar

**3 Tbsp lecithin (dissolved in coconut oil)
**1 cup cold pressed raw coconut oil, melted

In a high-speed blender add the almond milk, lemon juice, salt, pumpkin spice, cubed pumpkin and maple syrup until very smooth.
Add in the cashews and blend until all graininess is gone.  Rub a little batter between your fingers to make sure it is nice and creamy.   This is a good time to taste test.  You may need to add additional spice or sweetness, it all depends on the quality of the pumpkin you used.  We are dealing with fresh ingredients here and the taste can very largely due to ripeness, etc.
Add the lecithin and melted coconut oil and continue blending until creamy and the powder is well-integrated.
Pour the mixture over the prepared crust.
Gently tap your pan on the counter top to bring all the bubbles to the surface.
Place in the fridge to set up.

Carmel sauce:
1/2 cup  raw almond butter
1/4 cup  raw honey nectar
1/4 cup yucan syrup
1/2 cup date paste
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup of water (may need more or less, do you want to drizzle or use as a frosting?)
1/2 – 1 cup raw pecans, chopped

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and process until smooth.  You may need to stop occasionally to scrape the sides down.
Hand stir in pecan or place on top after applying the caramel sauce.
Store left sauce in the fridge in a glass container for up to 2 weeks.  To soften, leave out at room temperature for a few hours or place the container in a bowl of hot water.

Assembly:  Pour caramel over the cheesecake and allow it to drizzle down the sides. Cut and serve!!  Keep chilled.


Mint Chocolate Lip balm

It is getting cold and that means it is time to give yourself a little pampering.  

I made up a batch of this lip balm the other day an it is amazing!  I can't think of a sweeter way to protect and moisturize winter lips.  Its so easy to make I have to share this recipe.


3 T. organic coco butter
1/4 square dark chocolate or 3-4 chocolate chips
1 t. vitamin E oil
4-5 drops peppermint essential oil

1. Melt the cocoa butter in the microwave.
2. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. (You may have to microwave the mixture again for a few seconds).
3. Add vitamin E and mint oil
4. Mix well and pour into a small container

Thats all there is to it!  The color will look pretty on anyone with olive skin tones all year round but anyone can pull it off this time of year.

I love the feel of the the tingly peppermint but if you don't you could also try substituting orange, raspberry or rose oil.

You're going to love this one!


Pumpkin Pickles

I took a walk yesterday and every ware I looked I saw jack-o-lanterns withering away on front porches, steps, and fences.  The once scary faces turning sad and droopy as the pumpkin breaks down.

It made me wonder how many die is this way and what we could do with them.  Other than pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie I really don't use it that much.

I found this recipe in my canning book and decided to give it a go.  It is a work in progress so I will keep you posted on the final verdict.

Pumpkin Pickle Recipe


1 5 pound pie pumpkin (avoid the monster pumpkins used for carving–too stringy)
kosher salt (do NOT use iodized table salt) 
1 cups sugar 

1 cup white vinegar plus 3 cups vinegar (may use a mix of white and apple cider)
1 Tbs whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon plus
4 sticks cinnamon
1 Tbs whole allspice
fresh ginger, crushed
powdered alum
canning jars, bands and lids

  1. Peel and seed the pumpkin and cut into 1 inch cubes. Put in a glass bowl, pour water over to cover and add 4 tablespoons kosher salt for each quart of water. Leave the pumpkin overnight or for at least 5 hours.
  2. Next day, drain the pumpkin cubes and rinse them well. Rinse the bowl well and put the pumpkin back into the bowl. In a medium pan, combine 1 quart water, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of vinegar, 1 Tbs whole cloves, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 Tbs allspice and ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. This is a syrup so be careful that it doesn’t boil over or you’ll have a mess on your stove.
    Remove the pan from the heat and pour the syrup over the drained, rinsed pumpkin.
    Let stand in a cool place overnight (refrigerator is fine, but bring to room temp prior to packing into jars)
  3. The next day, get your jars and lids ready: Fill your canning pot (or any large stockpot) halfway with water and bring to a boil. Put your canning jars into the pot (either using your canning rack or a pair of tongs) and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Lids and bands can be sterilized separately in another pot of simmering water.You want the jars dry when you fill them so after the ten minutes, remove the jars with tongs and place on a clean, dry towel. Lids and bands can sit in the water until you’re ready.
    Make sure you have several clean, lint-free towels on hand. A wide-mouth canning funnel is very helpful, but not necessary.
    Keep the water in the canning pot boiling while you finish the next steps.
  4. Remove the pumpkin cubes from the syrup and distribute the cubes among your sterilized canning jars, filling the jars up to within 1 inch of the rim with pumpkin cubes. Break up the remaining cinnamon sticks and slide one piece down into each jar with the pumpkin.
  5. Pour the syrup into a saucepan and add 3 more cups of sugar and 3 more cups of vinegar. Bring back to a boil.  (I am cutting down on my sugar so I only used 1 cup sugar...  use your own judgement)
  6. Remove the syrup from the heat and ladle into the jars over the pumpkin cubes. Make sure the cloves and allspice are evenly distributed among the jars. Fill jars to within 1/2 inch of the top.Wipe the rims carefully with a damp lint-free towel and add one little pinch of powdered alum to each jar.
  7. Before placing lids on jars, wipe the rubber-coated outside perimeter free of water and place them squarely on the rims. Screw on the bands, firmly, but not too tight. Place the jars back into the boiling hot water bath and process for ten minutes.
  8. After processing, remove the jars and place on a  towel to cool. As they cool, the lids should snap down with an audible “pop.” This means the jar is sealed properly. If any of your lids do not pop down (or if you can still push the lid down) you can either re-process, or just put the jar in the fridge after it’s cool and use the pumpkin within 10 days.
    Leave the properly sealed jars in a cool place for at least 1 week before eating.  The longer they sit the better the flavor.

Let me know if you have any favorite pumpkin recipes.  I'm up for trying anything.


Jack O lanterns

This is too cute!  I did not think of it, but I wish I had.

I'm going to try it tonight.

Go here for the recipe!