Wednesday, February 5, 2020

What do you mean I only get 24 hours in a day...

We've just returned from A Big Trip. Well, it's a Big Trip for we Aussies.
We started in New York....a lifelong dream...

Continued on to Nice and Paris...

Had a quick look at Monaco...

...and back home again.

Oh to have MORE TIME!
I have a significant birthday in just two short weeks. One that starts with a 6 and ends with a zero. I'm perplexed. How did I get to be OLD?? Not that I'm not grateful and all. Lord knows many loved ones have been denied the opportunity.
It's just daunting to imagine I have less years in front of me, than behind me. Lets be honest with ourselves. I'm not living past 100 even in the best case scenario.
So how does one make the most of the years left on this one beautiful planet?
That's something I'm pondering big time.
Work happens.
Renovations continue.
Life goes on...thank goodness.
To those of you wondering 'Is Mimi still blogging?', the short answer is 'yes'. The more convoluted one is 'as often as I can', which clearly hasn't been very often lately.
I'm hoping to remedy that. Fall down, get back up again sort of mentality.
I'm waving to you! Can you see me?
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Friday, November 15, 2019

Gorgeous Gifts...DIY Cherubs Cheek Cookie Dough Face Scrub

Here's my version of one of the Lush chains most popular facial cleansers, the Angels on Bare Skin Facial Scrub.

As the name suggests, the texture is very much like a cookie dough.

You take a pearl sized amount of the 'dough', and mix to a paste in the palm of your hand, before applying to the face and massaging well. This will leave your face as soft as .... a Cherubs Cheek!

Soft-as-a-Cherubs-Cheek Cookie Dough Face Scrub

All of my ingredients are readily available at supermarkets or health food stores.
This amount makes a ball of dough somewhere between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball.

4 tablespoons French White Clay powder (healing and calming)

4 tablespoons Ground Rice (also known as Rice Flour) (gentle exfoliating)

2 tablespoons Milk Powder (moisturising and soothing)

1 teaspoon Citric Acid (preservative and antioxidant)

2 teaspoons Vitamin E oil (antioxidant)

2 tablespoons strong Green Tea (antioxidant)...make the tea with one teabag and about an eighth of a cup of boiling water

2 teaspoons Salt (preservative and exfoliant)

3 tablespoons Glycerine (moisturising)

Several drops essential oils of choice (I used 6 drops each of Lemon, Peppermint and Lavender)

Botanicals such as unsprayed dried rose petals or lavender buds, crumbled (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, using a teaspoon to form into a dough. Knead with scrupulously clean hands until well combined. Seal in foil, in a sealed container.

Use a spoon, tweezers or small tongs to remove tiny pearl sized amounts to mix with a small amount of water to a paste, and massage onto your dampened face for about 30 seconds. Rinse well.

Follow with your favourite moisturiser or my Facial Serum :)

Store sealed in foil and use within one month. Refrigerating it will prolong it's shelf life.

Lush in the true sense of the word!


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Easy Peasy Artisan scary steps!

French milled or Rebatched soap is a method by which you grate the soap up (or in this case, use soap flakes), add water and other ingredients, and remould it into shapes or bars.

It's an easier and less scary way of making your own soaps, and I can vouch for the money saving and skin enhancing properties of this particular one.

Using just Lux Laundry flakes, water, Cconut Oil and Milk Powder, I created these gorgeous rustic soaps, which smell divine, and leave your skin unbelievably soft and delicately scented.

You need:

700gms Lux laundry flakes or equivalent grated soap (NOT soap powder no matter what the guy in the supermarket tells you! Lux flakes here in Australia, are simply flakes of pure Lux soap.)

3 cups of water

4 tablespoons of Milk Powder

1/2 cup Coconut Oil

Few drops of scented or essential oil (Lemongrass or Lavender are particularly lovely)

Here's How:

Bring a large pot of water to a simmer, and sit a large mixing bowl over it.

To the mixing bowl, add the soap flakes, milk powder and water, and stir until it becomes a thick slush.

Add the Coconut Oil and fragrance oil and stir until combined.

This is how mine looked after rebatching, and spooning into silicone moulds....
As you can see, it's not smooth and liquid. It's sort of a gluey gloop.

Let them set overnight, then unmould onto racks to air and harden. I've found that leaving them for about three weeks gives them more longevity upon use.

One of these soaps lasts us a week or more of showers, as opposed to the store bought ones, which are lucky to last three days.
Here's a batch that I scooped into cookie boxes lined with baking paper.

This batch, a half batch actually, still yielded a dozen lovely, neat, well formed bars of soap, at around 40c each.
I call that a Win!

And they look and smell Very Special :)



Saturday, November 9, 2019

Gorgeous Gifts...Panforte...

Christmas Cake is okay, but it's not a huge favourite here.

This Panforte is yummier, I reckon and makes a fab gift for special people in your life.

Here's my recipe. It's evolved over a few years, and withstands all sorts of substitutions, so don't be afraid to be adventurous!
The Recipe:

750gms mixed dried fruit and nuts in any combination.
(Some recipes for this specify certain quantities, but I just use whatever I have on hand and it always turns out. We like it particularly chunky and adore whole dried figs, crystallised ginger and walnuts, with some mixed dried fruit sprinkled between.)

3/4 cup condensed milk

1/2 cup raw sugar

2 tablespoons honey

2/3 cup plain flour (GF is fine)

2 teaspoons Mixed Spice or 1 teaspoon each Nutmeg and Cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla, rum or any other flavour essence you like

Preheat oven to 150C.

Line a cake tin with baking paper. I like to do mine in a round tin, so it slices into wedges like a regular cake. I've also found that using a spring form tin, makes it easier to remove in one piece without accidents.

Put the fruit and nuts into a mixing bowl. Add the flour and spices, and mix well.

Put the condensed milk, honey, sugar and essence in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer for one minute and remove from the heat.

Fold the warm mixture throught the dry ingredients until well combined.

Pour into the lined tin and smooth the top.

Bake for 25-35 minutes until firm to touch in the middle.

Remove and allow to cool before slicing into long thin wedges.

Present whole as a gift, either dusted with icing sugar, drizzled with melted chocolate or garnished with gold or silver leaf. Looks great wrapped in tulle, cellophane or muslin, tied in a top knot in the middle and decorated with bells or similar.

You can add flavoured essences such as Rum or Mint or Almond, cocoa, orange zest or candied orange pieces, crystallised ginger, choc bits or whatever you fancy to personalise this one too.

The gold and silver leaf, edible, is available at Cake Decorating Stores. The little silver or multicoloured cachous sprinkles are another cute idea for decorating the top of your Panaforte.