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Schweppes Manao

New yums!
 
 
manao soda
 
 
Holland is waaay more open to Asian cuisine than Belgium is, so whenever I go there I try to get me some Asian groceries!
 
Let’s taste some!
 
Schweppes Manao, a drink especially created for Thailand.
 
 
manao soda
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Pink Panther Lemonade

Blimey! I created pink lemonade in my cauldron (or mixer, whatever). As in bright pink. With the help of wonderberries (FINE – red berries).
Sheesh. But looking at the color of the lemonade i’d honestly mistake them for magical berries.
 
Not a lot of shots because I hadn’t planned on making this into a post. But when I saw the bright outcome I felt the need to share this happy looking drink!
 
 

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Pear juice recipe!

It’s juicing time again!
With the weather getting colder, and the sniffles coming on again, I took a trip to the market last Monday to obtain the MOTHERLOAD of fruit and veggies for this week.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in a little town but I rarely get my fruit at the supermarket, markets often give you great deals and the quality can’t even be compared!
However I don’t see that many people visiting it anymore… It’s gotten very quiet.
Look at those apples:

vegetables

I get half the size in a commercial supermarket!

However the stars of the day are these juicy pears I got:

juice

I juiced them with some

  • apples (green ones are more fresh but I used what I had!)
  • some lemon juice
  • optional: cellery (I added this just to my glass for an extra vitamin kick, however Hippo absolutely hates cellery.)

Why pears are good for you?
They contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C & E, but also folic acid, niacin, copper, phosphorus and potassium.
Pears boost the immune system!

The apples provide antioxidants for the immune system as well, they detoxify the liver.
Oh and they’re sweet of course! Nom.

Cellery stems ( get ready) contain: vitamins B1, B2, B6 & C, potassium (great for migraines), folic acid, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, amino acids and sodium.

Then last but not least: lemons have antibacterial, antiviral and again immune-boosting powers.

This is a powerjuice!
The taste is fresh and sweet.

recipe

As you juice up the pears you’ll see a lot of foam appearing out of thin air, so poor it out with a strainer if you have one!
Mine seemed to’ve ran off though.
Or I lost it again.. hehe.. details!

Enjoy!!

Reversing skin damage

fog

It feels as if there’s a fog eating up my bain today! That picture’s doing a pretty good job at representing it. I really have trouble getting back into the swing of things sometimes.
Especially when I return from a place with a totaly different living pace. From a foresty village to a city, it can still be a hassle!

As I have no idea what to post, but do want to keep my blog updated, I figured why not post something that i’m currently working on every day myself. Which is clearing up skin damage that’s been piling up over the past couple of months.

Acne marks are basically what you’re left with for about a week after you’ve had a pretty serious blemish on your skin. Only multiplied by a ton. The inflamattion is pretty much gone, the bacteria are gone, however your skin still needs to heal from the damage that has been done.

Acne scarring is even more stubborn, this happens when the damage was so severe that it leaves a scar, or even a dent in the skin.

This second one I didn’t encounter thankfully, however i’ll add some tips for that in this post as well. Feel free to scroll through this next section, i’ll just sketch a brief history of what’s been going on with my body!

History lesson in session!

Up until 6 months ago I didn’t have any skin trouble whatsoever, but then.
*TUM TUM TUUUMMM*
My skin went ballistic on me!
Not just my face in fact, my neck and cleavage as well. Up to the point where I only felt comfortable wearing high-cut neck shirts. Just not a good situation.

What happened was:

I’d been taking birth control for 7 years , so I kind of just drifted over the teenage skin problems with ease, didn’t really have any.
However with the migraines and all that, I wanted to give my body a break from the hormones to have a blood test done, and to see if it would bring relief.

When I told my doctor about that decision he did warn me that the body goes through a detox phase for 3 months or longer, so I would likely be seeing my body respond to it.
Now I have heard of ladies trying to get pregnant, that had to wait up to a year before the hormones were all gone and they could try for a baby again.

However  half a year later my skin was still complete not at ease. It kept getting worse even, just really horrific.
I really felt like a mess!
Good thing you can cover things up with make up I guess, however I really wanted to feel good about myself without all that covering up again.

Aaand so I went on my journey to find a solution, what I came across then was a type of hormone-simulator.
This has been working for me so far, and my skin has settled down!

However i’m pamering my skin more than usual these days, because the marks could easily take up to a year to vanish without the care.

School’s done!

What I want to sum up here is, how I help my skin shed those damaged layers faster. This also works for a one-time-blemish, i’m just using it on a big scale here!

  • Exfoliate

scrub

If your skin can’t handle an every day scrub, try once a week even. There’s no need to make your skin angry, but it can use some help getting rid of the dead skin cells that it’s working its ass off to pry loose for you!
You can look into microdermabrasion as well, a lot of people benefit from that.
It’s expensive, however you have DIY kits for it as well these days that are okay in price!

  • Tretinoin

glycerin

Natural form of vitamin A, it’s known to relieve skin issues of all sorts. This stuff can be found in aloe vera, green tea, tomatoes, glycerin, etc.
You can always try slapping that salad onto your face instead of in your mouth, or find a moisturiser with these ingredients.

  • Vitamin E

olive oil

Ingest it as a supplement or via food, but if you want skin to heal fast as lighning you can also apply it on the spots themselves. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant.

  • Mask

clayface

I really didn’t use to be interested in face masks, however i’ve come to praise them.

A standard issue clay mask once a week helps me draw all the crap to the surface even faster. Right after washing it off, the marks will be extremely red because they’re pissed off, but they come to appreciate it the next morning.

  • Sunscreen

sunscreen

Sun can be harsh on your skin.
Applying sunscreen forms a barrier between the damaged areas and the sun, so that the healing process can go full throttle instead of your skin taking some damage from the sun and trying to heal at the same time.

  • Stop, no – psst! Don’t pick at your skin!

scratch

Scrubbing is good, fiddling your skin isn’t. Give it time to work at its layers by itself.

This gets especially annoying when the damaged area starts healing at a rapid pace, then it itches!

  • Water!!

stream

Drink lots of water, for the skin to  stay clear it needs good blood circulation. Think of it as a still lake with algae vs a streaming river.
It’s also incredibly vital in keeping the lymphatic system working at a good pace. Which is needed to promote rapid healing.

YES okay, this is something I preach but have trouble practicing. I have my ups and downs however it’s so important, I had to add it out of principle!

  • Lymph supplement

lymphatic system

While we’re on the subject of the lymphatic system, you can find loads of supplements out there that include vitamin a, c, e, zinc, iron, selenium, etc. to help you get that natural defense system in tip top shape.

Keeping your lymphatic system intact is so crucial to overall health.. it’s one of the things I really try to pay attention to.
It’s so important not only for the immune system and production of blood, but also for collecting excess fluids, and guiding toxins toward the exit and all that good stuff. It deserves some respect!

  • Arnica

arnica

A really potent herb that promotes rapid wound healing off various kinds.

  • Comfrey

comfrey

This herb multitasks, it restrains inflammation as well as stimulating cell-growth and repair, it’s amazing for the skin.

  • Lemon

lemon

Lemon has an awesome lightening effect on marks and pigmentation spots.
I use my own scrub once a week, which has fresh lemon in it. The way I really let that lemon get to work is: I scrub first in the shower, and then just let the mixture sit for a bit while I take care of other business.

As for scarring, especially the vitamin E, A, work good, however a dermatologist can do a ton of things for you as well.

These are all of the things I can think of at the moment, that i’ve used at least a couple of times to treat a spot mark / my acne marks.
However not everyone lives in a concrete “paradise” like me, without kids and just a hamster to care about, so of course these can be selected according to convenience!!

Let me know if there’s anything else I forgot!

Quick homemade strawberry lemonade!

We just arrived back in the city yesterday but low and behold, there was only a little coke left in the house, and besides that just water!
Yes I know.. water’s good and healthy, but LET’S JUST BE HONEST, there’s not a lot of taste to it! If I want flavor, I won’t be grabbing for WATER! I like to switch up my drinks throughout the day!

There’s always some fruit to be found in my freezer to make cold smoothies in the morning, but that’s not a light drink. That’s a whole meal for my belly! That’s why I tried combining them with something else and it came out tasy as heck!
It’s not really a juice, i’d say it leans toward lemonade, but there’s fruit and water in there, and you can definitely switch up the sugar with honey for example.

What we’ll need:

Fresh refreshing water

Now you know how old school the kitchen is as well, I love it! :)

  • Frozen strawberries
  • Lemon
  • Still water
  • Sugar syrup (any kind, or make it yourself! Bring water and sugar to a boil and let the sugar melt, take it off the heat, let it cool and thicken, done!)
  • Optional: alcohol, i’m sure you could make this into a refreshing cockatil!
  • Strainer
  • Blender

1. the water goes into your blender first, get as much as you’d like to end up with.

2. add sugar syrup to taste.

syrup

Just because no one knows what water and syrup looks like.

3. add lemon (I add half a lemon per 300 ml water)

syrup

Yup, that’s lemon.

4. chuck in your strawberries! (I add about 3 small ones per 300 ml)

Water

5. blend, blend, blend! (any make up fans that know what MUA i’m referring to here?? ^_^)

strawberry

strawberry

6. it’s a pretty thick liquid, so poor it through a strainer to separate the pulp!

Lemonade

Syrup

Done! Enjoy! ^_^

Strawberry water

Strawberry drink

DIY shaving help!

Ah man you know what feeling I love? Having razor burns and then showering.
NO. NO I don’t.

The main reason for razor burns is the hair being too rough, and the skin being too dry. Imagine dragging a blade over dry earth, you get stuck behind the uneven parts, and take some of the surface with you. Not healthy for your skin and not comfortable either!
Aka we need an emolient, something to soften up the skin before we shave, and to make the razor glide over or skin as we shave!

I love just getting a shaving cream sometimes, it’s handy, stays good for ages, and is easy to store. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean they’re as good for your skin as their completely natural DIY counterparts. There’s tons of crap in commercial creams, plain and simple. Sorbitol for example, because natural glycerin is “too expensive”.

Well here’s some recipes to try out for yourself! Oils and creams galore, depends on what you like!
I enjoy the infused oil, and wax recipes the most. They’re easy and do their job!

Scrub

First of all, scrubbing is essential for a really close shave without razor burns! Especially for a beard! There are tons of natural DIY scrubs, or just get one at your local drugstore.

If you use something like my sugar scrub though, with oil in it, you can double it up as a lubricant for shaving as well!
Rinse your skin with water (warm if you can, that softens your skin up even more) to remove the sugar, and shave!

Normal oil

You can use grapeseed, castor, almond, sunflower, coconut, baby, extra virgin olive oil, any oil you like! Natural oils work great for softening up the skin, and making your razor glide right over.

Infused oil

There’s different ways of doing this, let’s do the “hard” one first:

  • Dried herbs (they make your oil stay fresh longer)
  • Olive oil (or any other oil, I love using olive oil though because it’s been used since early times, even in bath water in Greece!)

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, pour everything into a bowl, turn off the oven and place it in there for a couple of hours.
When everything is soaked up nicely, get the oil into a jar by pushing it out of the herbs.

Then the easy way:

  • Essential oils
  • Olive oil (or again any other oils)

Mix them up, done!
Keep it in the refridgerator, and it’ll stay good for months on end! (if you used an oil that became hard in the fridge, just warm it up in your hands before using it)

Oils are so nice and economical to use, just wet the area where you need to shave, add a few drops of oil, let it sink in for a couple of minutes, shave, and rinse!
You’ll smell good too, hmmm…

Soothing lotion

Your normal moisturizer works great, one with aloe or roses in it would be even better, those soothe the skin even more. Works just the same as oils, let it soak in and ready to razor!
Another thing you can try, is hair conditioner!

Shaving cream

First of all, you can use soap. However that’s not as moisturising, this is:

  • 8 ounces grated castile soap
  • 8 ounces rose water
  • 2 ounces cocoa butter
  • 4 ounces of liquid vegetable glycerin (available at drugstores and pharmacies)

Add essential oils to this as well if you like!

Soak the soap in the rose water overnight. Heat the cocoa butter and glyerin so that they melt, then remove from the heat and add the soap mixture. Blend those all together with a mixer and done!

As with all fresh products, store in your refrigerator.

What herbs/essential oils to add

Anything you like really, but here are some suggestions:

If you have problems with acne, try adding some of these to your face-treatments:

  • Tamanu oil: heal skin damage
  • Rosehip: healing, reduce wrinkles, fights redness
  • Emu oil: healing, pain, anti-infammatory
  • Lavender: balances, great for combination skin, heals
  • Neroli oil: against scarring
  • Sage oil (don’t use when pregnant, dilute it, and look up if it’s suited for you first): anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, you name it. Extremely potent  oil.
  • Tea tree: anti-bacterial, great for face oils or underarms (no bacteria =  no smell!)
  • Olive oil: vitamin e, antioxidants
  • Peppermint oil: vitamin a, against irritation
  • Green tea: powerful antioxidant
  • Aloe vera: soothes, cooling, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial
  • Camomile oil: calm skin, tissue regeneration
  • Mandarin oil: helps heal, improves circulation (and smells great!)
  • Sandalwood oil: natural remedy for scars (expensive though)
  • Frankincense oil: disinfectant, astingent

These can be found in organic stores! You can add them to millions of things, but i’ll keep that for another post haha!

Making your own wax

One more thing, for those of us who don’t like to shave, I make my wax myself!
It’s a sugar wax, i’m sure a lot of people are familiar with this recipe:

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water

Put this on the stove and let it simmer for 45 minutes to make the sugar caramelize.

This washes off so easily as well, unlike hard wax!

Learning about essential oils is a passion of mine, tell me your favorites below! :)

DIY scrubbing!

Let’s start off by saying I have oily skin.
YAY less rinkles! BOO blackheads and powdering our nose.

A while back, I officially declared war against my blackheads!

I’d splurge on getting a nice scrub and all that stuff..
The Clinique 7 days scrub cream is a lovely one.
But that’s 20-30 euros down the drain o_O
And to be honest, if you look at the ingredient list….. not that spectacular either.

After some time, I moved onto a cheaper brand, the Hema scrub cream for combination skin.
Which was fiiiine…. but it didn’t add much to my skin either!

Then I read about using sugar as your scrub.
This would be your main ingredient, and from that you could add whatever you like, to nourish your skin.

Enter the honey-olive-lemon-scrub!

My skin has really been benefiting from this concoction. LOL

The ingredients are:

  • Any sugar (I use unbleached cane sugar)
  • Honey (the runny kind)
  • Olive oil (I use extra vierge)
  • Optional: fresh lemon

And here’s how we make it!

Take a bowl, and poor in the sugar first. This way you can measure how much of the scrub you want. (let’s say 4tbsp)
Add the honey, not too much, you want it to stay clumpy and griddy.  (about 2 tbsp)
And then your olive oil, until you’re satisfied with the consistency. (about 1 tbsp)
When my skin is feeling a bit dull, I like to squeeze in a fresh lemon too.

Then when I hop into the shower, I clean my face, put this scrub on, let it sink in for a minute, and rinse it off.
It makes my skin feel so fresh!
Keep your scrub in the refrigerator, and you can use it for up to 3 days.

Let’s discuss ingredients!

Sugar
It works as a mild exfoliant, and is alpha-hydroxy rich.
So it will make your skin radiant. (not the nuclear kind, I promise) ^_^’

Second, is honey.
Honey is amazing, the list of positive effects on the body goes on and on.
It works as a natural antioxidant, has anti-macrobial properties, moisturises, heals and slows the aging process.

It’s no wonder women have been using it for AGES to treat their skin right?

Thrid is olive oil.
Don’t be afraid of olive oil. It will moisturise your skin without clogging it.
The molecules are too small to clog your pores.

Fourth is lemon.
Lemon brightens and softens up your skin.
It helps fade freckles and age spots you might have.
The citric acid in it works as a mild peeling, and it acts as a toner for oily skin as well. (FIGHT the blackheads!)

If you plan on brewing up this mixture at home, let me know what you think!

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