Tag: beauty

Acai Bowls \\ Sweet Laurel

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Acai Bowls for Two

Everyone loves a good acai bowl. Unfortunately, I’m usually quite disappointed when I order acai at restaurants because they’re usually WAY TOO SWEET for me, and loaded with  added sugar. I love making my own, because I get to control the sweet factor. These beautiful bowls are sweetened with frozen banana, and optional raw honey. Top your bowls with favorite fruits. Get creative, they are fun to make!

Serves 2

100 gram packet unsweetened acai

1 frozen banana (make sure your banana is unpeeled before you freeze it)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1 tablespoon raw honey

Garnish:

Berries

Mango slices

Peach Slices

Shredded coconut or fresh cut coconut

Almonds

Blend acai, frozen banana, vanilla extract and optional honey together on high in a blender. Top with fruit of choice. For garnish, I like to cut my mango slices into fun shapes. You can also freeze or fresh berries for a few moments to add a nice frozen glow to your bowl!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

I love being a mom! In honor of Mother’s Day and my first time celebrating as a mom, I’m sharing some of my most used, and favorite mom-friendly items. This week’s recipe features my Lactation Cookies, which accompanied me to the hospital when Nico was born, and have been made regularly since!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

First off, Nucifera! I LOVE Nucifera, and the amazing entrepreneur who developed it. Nucifera is the ultimate pregnancy and breastfeeding safe, all in one, beauty product. I use it regularly before bed and on my face as part of my cleansing routine. By now you all know how in love I am with coconut, and this is a coconut based product, and the benefits are unending. It moisturizes, soothes, purifies, and combats various skin conditions. Nucifera can even be used as an all natural deodorant. I personally like using it under my eyes. And by the way, Nucifera is not just amazing for mothers, it is great for fathers and children alike!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Second, my Petal Soft Ballet Nursing Bra. Not only is it pretty to look at, it is oh so comfortable. I never thought nursing would change my whole outfit. For some reason, I never made the connection. Well, a good nursing outfit starts with a good bra, and this is my go-to! It is from Bravado Designs, who also makes two other nursing bras I’m digging– the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra, also comfy, and the Clip and Pump, which gives me mobility with my hands while I pump!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Third, a good notebook. I want to cherish each day with sweet Nico, and this helps me do! I’m a very sentimental gal, so essentially, writing down thoughts, precious moments and words of gratitude have been very therapeutic for me. Nico has made me a more organized person, and this is one tool I’ve begun to use to help in that department.

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Lastly, Lactation Cookies. Do you every need an excuse to eat cookies? Well, when you’re breastfeeding, you automatically have one! Lactation enriching foods have been used for centuries to help with breast milk production, and my cookies contain just a few of the many nutritious foods know to encourage milk supply nursing. I read a book entitled Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck, and learned about the foods I should focus on during pregnancy and nursing. I highly recommend this book. Per the words of Planck, two of the most popular lactation foods are oats and beer. I don’t include either of those in my cookies, as I don’t digest either well, but have included several of the other recommended foods. These cookies freeze super well, so I typically make a batch and store them in the freezer to snack on and give to people who come over. Having a baby really ups your weekly visitors!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Lactation Cookies

Yields about 30 cookies


 

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds or shredded coconut

1/2 cup macadamia nuts or pecans

1/2 date paste or 7 dates, pitted

4 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted) or grass fed butter (solid)

1 cup chocolate chips (recipe below)

Maple syrup, as needed (these cookies are not very sweet, so add if need be)


 

*For Oatmeal Raisin variation

Exchange flax and sesame seeds for 1/2 cup of oats (if you tolerate). You can also add shredded coconut for texture!

Exchange and 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 cup raisins for the chocolate chips.


 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a blender, combine the flax seeds, sesame seeds, macadamia nuts, dates, eggs, coconut oil and maple syrup (optional). Turn on low speed, and blend until batter is incorporated. Remove mixture from blender and place into a bowl. Stir in almond flour and chocolate chips. Spoon one tablespoon sized cookies onto cookies sheet. Gently press dough down with a piece of parchment paper.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Lift parchment off pan, and allow cookies to cool all the way.

Enjoy!


 

Homemade Chocolate Chips 


 

Ingredients:

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao, organic is preferable)

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey


 

Directions:

Break baking chocolate into one-inch pieces and place in thick saucepan or double boiler. Over a very low heat, melt baking chocolate. Once melted, take off heat, and add maple syrup or raw honey and stir. Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches. Place parchment in freezer. Once hardened (will take a few minutes), break into small pieces and use as chocolate chips.

 

Rosebud Bath Soak for Mom \\ Sweet Laurel

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so here’s a fun DIY gift you can give to the mommas you love! This soak includes two of our favorite ingredients at Sweet Laurel: coconut and pink salt. Both are beneficial to your body inside and out! Pink salt and coconut have benefits once digested, and several topical benefits as well. While the coconut milk powder in the recipe works to moisturize the skin, the pink salt acts at a detoxifier. Roses are used for their gratifying and soothing effect to the senses. This bath soak is a simple, yet beautiful little gift! Enjoy.

Rosebud Bath Soak for Mom \\ Sweet Laurel

Rosebud Bath Soak for Mom \\ Sweet Laurel

Rosebud Bath Soak for Mom \\ Sweet Laurel

Rosebud Bath Soak DIY Gift


 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Himalayan pink salt (I like to use the coarsely ground salt)

1/2 cup coconut milk powder

3 tablespoons dried rosebuds

1-2 drops essential rose oil

1 8 oz glass jar


 

Directions:

Grind a few of the rosebuds in a mortar and pestle until slightly broken. Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Spoon into a jar and seal. Keep in a cool. dry place until use.

Easter Cupcakes \\ Sweet Laurel

Spring has sprung! These adorable little cupcakes are perfect for any celebration. We love the mild yellow color you can achieve with our all natural, yellow food coloring, turmeric. Turmeric is also an anti – inflammatory powerhouse, so it is a win-win way to color your frosting. This is the debut of our vanilla cupcake recipe that many of you have been requesting, so enjoy!

Easter Cupcakes \\ Sweet Laurel

Easter Cupcakes \\ Sweet Laurel

Easter Cupcakes \\ Sweet Laurel

Easter Cupcakes \\ Sweet Laurel

Easter Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes


Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


 

Directions:

Place eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl. Whisk until well incorporated. Add almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix until batter is formed. Using ice cream scooper, scoop batter into prepared cupcake molds.

Bake about 20 -25 minutes. Allow to cool.

 


 

To prepare yellow icing:


 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut butter

2 teaspoons 100% maple syrup or honey

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 teaspoon turmeric (more or less depending on the brightness you’d like)


 

Directions:

Mix all ingredients except turmeric over very low heat.  Allow to cool. If too thick, add a bit more coconut milk. Whisk in turmeric to color icing.

Dip cupcakes into icing. Repeat with all cupcakes. You may want to double dip them for deeper color. Enjoy!

Top with fresh, organic chamomile flowers.

Safe Mom Beauty Round Up \\ Sweet Laurel

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, and even more beautiful is the effect it has on one’s level of self-care. Before I was pregnant, self-care did not mean too much to me. Besides eating well, basic hygiene, yoga and the occasional infrared sauna treatments, I never really went out of my way to treat my body kindly. When I became pregnant in May, everything changed, and for the better! Suddenly I became focused on the care of another human life, through my body. After all, the health and wellness of my baby depends on me.

And so the changes began. I scoured the ingredients on everything I put on my body, and stopped using some of my lotions and scented soaps! I sorted through cleaning product in my home and made sure I only used non-toxic and environmentally safe detergents and disinfectants. I even bought organic sheets for my bed! Think I went too far there?

Here are some of my all-time favorite, pregnancy safe, beauty products. Each one is sourced from companies that CARE about what is in their products and the impact the products have on people and our planet. I hope you enjoy this collection and get to check these amazing products soon! xo, Laurel

Safe Mom Beauty Round Up \\ Sweet Laurel

For toothpaste, my husband and I love Powersmile by JASON. It is so refreshing and leaves your mouth feeling sparkly clean. Powerful Peppermint is our current flavor. I love how strong it is. I seriously look forward to brushing!

Safe Mom Beauty Round Up \\ Sweet Laurel

Next up, KOSÅS COSMETICS! Packaging aside, this is my all time favorite for chic and effortless lip color. Every color is just gorgeous and has the loveliest taste on the lips. For safe and beautiful lipstick, Kosås your best bet!

Safe Mom Beauty Round Up \\ Sweet Laurel

I love Los Angeles native and beauty queen, Shiva Rose. We share a deep love for Santa Monica Canyon and a special bond since working together on recipes in her kitchen last year. She has an amazing product line centered around simple and organic ingredients, and my favorite flower: the rose. This rose water is my go-to scent and my favorite perfume. It is also pregnancy safe, as some scents and essential oils are harmful to use during pregnancy.  Check out her beauty products here!

Safe Mom Beauty Round Up \\ Sweet Laurel

This one is more for my hubby, who I’ve been nagging to start using safe deodorant for a while now. I was so concerned when I found out most deodorants were filled with aluminum, and I didn’t want him rubbing it on his skin (the largest organ of the body) every morning! Agent Nateur came to the rescue thankfully! And the best part is, this product is safe AND effective!

Safe Mom Beauty Round Up \\ Sweet Laurel

Nail polish is something I don’t wear much, but when I do, I make sure it is free of harmful ingredients. This is a tradition I started before I became pregnant, and now that all my polishes are safe, I’m loving my collection! Enter RGB. Their color range is extraordinary, and standards high. This color is RGB 10, and my all time fave shade to wear on my nails.

Safe Mom Beauty Round Up \\ Sweet Laurel

Last, but certainly not least, Beautycounter. This company is dedicated to providing clean, safe beauty products and quality make up. What I love about their offerings is that they actually perform, and last all day long! I use this sweet smelling moisturizer before bed each night. It is like my night cap ;).

DIY Hair Masks \\ Sweet Laurel

When it comes to a bit of pampering, our face tends to get the most love. And for good reason, it’s our source of expression, connection, and communication. But, every so often it’s nice to give our body’s supporting players some attention, so today I’m sharing three of my favorite at home hair masks (these double as face masks, too). They’re all three easy to find ingredients or less, and each serves a different purpose. I hope you enjoy these luxurious at-home treatments as much I do!

DIY Hair Masks \\ Sweet Laurel

DIY Hair Masks \\ Sweet Laurel

DIY Hair Masks \\ Sweet Laurel

DIY Hair Masks \\ Sweet Laurel

DIY Hair Masks \\ Sweet Laurel

DIY Hair Masks \\ Sweet Laurel

DIY Hair Masks \\ Sweet Laurel

DIY Hair Masks \\ Sweet Laurel

DIY Hair Masks \\ Sweet Laurel

Clay + Essential Oils

For clarifying + volume


 

The idea of removing toxins has been growing trend over the last few years, and when something becomes a trend, that usually means there’s a lot of confusion about what it actually does. In the case of benotite clay, a clay composed of volcanic ash, it produces a strong negative charge when in contact with water, which supposedly bonds to the positive charge in many toxins. So when contacts a toxin, chemical, or heavy metal, the clay absorbs the toxins and release it’s minerals, like a giant sponge. Bentonite clay isn’t a cure-all, but it’s a great way to clarify your skin, and especially your hair – which soaks up environmental toxins throughout the day (like how your hair can reek of cigarettes hours after you sat at a bar).

For this simple mask, I added rosemary and lavender oil, mostly because of their beautiful scent, but also because of they are believed to help stimulate hair growth from the scalp.


 

2 tablespoons Benotite Clay

8 tablespoons water

3 drops organic rosemary essential oil

3 drops organic lavender essential oil


 

In a non-metal bowl (the clay reacts to metal), mix together the ingredients, adding more water if needed, to get a thick yogurt textured paste.

Section your hair  and apply the clay from root to dip, massaging into the scalp.  Let the clay sit on your hair for 20 to 25 minutes, but do not let it harden (hard clay is harder to remove). Rinse out all of the clay with warm water. Shampoo and condition as you normally would.


 

Avocado and Egg

For Hydrating and Softening


 

Avocado is a powerhouse of phytochemicals, antioxidants such as vitamin A, E, D, and B6, amino acids, and minerals like potassium, copper, iron, and magnesium. Combined with avocado’s luxurious texture, its moisturizing properties are fantastic for frizyy, dry hair that needs a shine.  The egg yolk also packs a multitude of nutrients, including B-vitamins, vitamin A, zinc, protein, and sulphur, which means in addition to moisture, you’re also soothing your itchy scalp and possibly promoting hair growth. These two ingredients have so many amazing qualities, and can transform your hair into princess level tresses.


 

1/2 avocado, pulp removed

1 organic egg yolk


 

Blend the avocado and egg yolk until you have a lump free paste (small lumps will get caught in your hair, and you’ll have to comb it out).

Section your hair and apply the mask from root to dip, massaging into the ends. Let the mask sit on your hair for 20 to 25 minutes. Rinse out all of the mask with cool water (hot water will cook the egg). Shampoo and condition as you normally would.


 

Coconut Yogurt and Honey

For moisturizing oily hair


 

Packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins, calcium, and protein, coconut yogurt has moisturizing properties that help control oily, greasy hair by washing away excess oil in the scalp and hair. Honey is a key ingredient in this mask, enlivening dry, dull hair. Combining them creates a powerful hair mask that is perfect for someone with an oily scalp.


 

1/4 cup Coconut Yogurt (recipe below)

2 tablespoons honey


 

Section your hair  and apply the mask from root to dip, massaging into the ends.  Let the mask sit on your hair for 20 to 25 minutes. Rinse out all of the mask with hot water. Shampoo and condition as you normally would.


 

Coconut Yogurt


 

2 cup organic coconut milk

1 capsule probiotic


 

Place coconut milk in a pot. Heat to 180 degrees. Allow to cool completely. Add probiotic.

Place in dehydrator for 5 hours at 110, or place in yogurt maker for 5 hours.  Place in fridge for 5-10 hours.