Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yes, I smell like vinegar...my new hair rinse

A good deal really gets my heart beating.  Is that something I should admit?  Hmmm, things to consider.

Anyway, the point here is that the idea of using pantry staples in my shower sounded fantastic to me.

Cheap and on hand.  Add to that my recent attempts at cutting out some of the thousands of chemicals that bombard us everyday.

Which leads us to me bopping along on the elliptical, glaring at the timer and wondering why it smelled like a salad bar at my gym.

Back up back up and I'll explain the tangy scent. Sometimes, especially when the seasons change, my hair seems particularly dry or might even have some buildup. I've always heard that using an apple cider vinegar rinse is a great way to add some shine and naturally give buildup the kabosh.

Truth: my mom has been saying it for years and I always ignored her.

Here is what to do: Take an old shampoo bottle and add apple cider vinegar and water (about 1 tablespoon per cup of water). After rinsing my hair with water, I slowly saturated my hair with the rinse and then massaged it into my scalp. After about 4 minutes (honestly, however long it took me to shave my legs), I rinsed out the vinegar with more hot water.

I really liked the results! I didn't notice a big difference on shine, BUT the buildup was definitely gone which was my biggest concern. Regardless of the smell, which by the way, I didn't even notice until I started to overheat at the gym, I'm really happy with my inexpensive new hair rinse.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hiding the Kcups

Obsessed much?! Ace Ventura was on over the weekend and his classic, used way too many times in middle school line sums up how I feel about my Keurig coffee maker.

I   L   o   v   e    it.

I'm talking totallyoverthetop, close my eyes and sigh. Love it.

What I don't love are the little k cups tumbling out of the cardboard box on my kitchen counter. I really didn't want to invest in one of the special racks they sell just for k cups. My spice rack already takes up too much room on my counter and it certainly doesn't need a coffee counterpart.

First I tried filling up a pretty bowl with the little guys. Eh. I wasn't sold. Cute, but it still seemed messy to me.

Then my mom brought me this pretty tin back from England and wouldn't you know...the k cups stack up perfectly inside.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Semi Slow Roasted Tomatoes

I didn't feel like going to the gym (shocking) so instead I convinced myself that walking 3 miles round trip to Boston's Haymarket produce market would sufficiently fulfill my exercise needs of the day. True? Maybe not, but it sounded good to me.

Boston's Haymarket is open Fridays and Saturdays and is not your typical farmer's market. Actually, apparently it isn't a farmer's market at all, but rather enthusiastic Bostonians selling grocery store's overstock. I always find great deals -10 limes for $1 anyone?

The produce is usually a little banged up and closer to being on the way out, but if you know what you need and plan to use it quickly, you really can't beat the deals. And, if you're looking for a taste of the rough around the edges, thick accented, tell me that you only want 4 lbs of peppers instead of 8 and I will knock you out, true Bostonian attitude, this is the place for you. Even if I'm in the right mindset, I tend to walk away slightly traumatized and confused about what is in my tote bag.

For $8.50,  I came away with the following- 10 limes, 3 lbs of bananas, 1.5 lbs of fresh ginger, 1 package of organic blueberries, 1 big box of strawberries, and 3 lbs of tomatoes. Not bad, right?

I kept a few tomatoes for salads, and decided to slow roast the rest. Buuut, I didn't have the recommended ten hours of roasting time on my hands. So, right now I'm in the process of semi-slow roasting my Haymarket tomatoes.

This was ridiculously easy, and I'm hoping that even without ten hours of cooking, my tomatoes will be a full-flavored, savory addition to sauces and soups. 

Semi-Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Enough tomatoes, cut lengthwise in half, to fill a cookie sheet
Olive oil
5-6 garlic cloves (to make this recipe even easier, I kept the skins on)
Dried oregano
Salt & Pepper

Heat your oven to 225 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
Lay the tomatoes on the cookie sheet, toss the garlic cloves on top
Drizzle with olive oil and dust with oregano, salt, and pepper
Cook for 4 hours (or longer if you have the time)

I'm going to use these rich semi slow roasted tomatoes in a marinara sauce, but could just as easily add them to soups, dips, or even salads.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Unusual Magazine Rack

How did we end up with 2 metal wine racks, a large wooden wine rack/cabinet and a wine fridge?  Boozers.  I guess part of the problem is that I hate to throw anything away...besides the fact that my husband and I love wine and all of its accessories. And as wine lovers, we have a hard time keeping all of the aforementioned racks full. Even with frequent trips to Trader Joes. Listen, somebody has to put themselves out there and test all of their new wines. I'm just willing to make that sacrifice for the greater good.

Focus focus. So HERE is what I did with one of our wine racks:

We also have a typical magazine rack, but I just love how this displays all of the colorful covers. Plus its a nice reminder of what I have available to read and what is ready to be tossed.

What creative ways do YOU display your magazines?

Monday, May 16, 2011


My husband and I were in Belize on our Honeymoon-part2 when I had my first sip of Limeade. Why part2? I'll save that story for another post BUT let's just say a hurricane, mandatory evacuation, and Xanax-Rumrunners were the main players.

Limeade is a popular drink in Belize and once I tried it I was hooked-both on the classic version and on the alcohol laced edition. Tart, sweet, crisp, and more edgy than it's common cousin, Lemonade, I knew that I had to recreate my new favorite drink at home. I played around with my homemade lemonade recipe and here is what I came up with. I prefer a higher tart to sweet ratio, so go ahead and add more simple syrup to taste.  I haven't tried adding alcohol to this yet, but I imagine it would be delicious and a fun surprise for any party.

LimeAde Recipe

1 cup of fresh lime juice
2 cups of cold water

Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup white sugar
Zest of 2 limes
1 cup of water

Bring the Simple Syrup ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool while you juice the limes.
Juice the limes to make 1 cup of lime juice-I used about 7 limes.
Strain the simple syrup into a pitcher, removing the lime zest.
Add the cold water and lime juice to the pitcher; stir.

Refrigerate or serve immediately over ice with a lime wedge to garnish. Approximately 5 servings