Día de los Muertos

When we think of death or about relatives who have passed, our automatic reaction is to often be sad and/or to avoid the topic all together. It’s understandable to feel down when talking about a deceased loved one but many Hispanic cultures take the opposite approach. Every year on November 1 & 2, known as “Día de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead”, families prepare an altar-like set up in their home or town with offerings orofrendas for the deceased. The day is more of a time to celebrate the character qualities and personality of those who passed than to mourn. It is believed that the spirits come back to visit their living relatives and take time to enjoy their favorite earthly treasures, like tequila and tamales.

Instead of preparing for one of our own relatives, we decided to honor Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter known for her self portraits. Photos of the deceased are placed at the altar to help honor and remember their life.

           

Pan dulce, which means “sweet bread”, is a classic Hispanic pastry often eaten for breakfast. We picked some up at a local panadería for our altar. Many people leave their favorite candy, like de La Rosa, as a sweet treat for their loved one. After the long journey, the spirits will definitely be hungry and need to refuel. Although they don’t actually eat the food, the spirits remove all nutritional value from the offerings. It’s also important to leave a bowl of water to cleanse themselves with. After all, who knows how long their travels took and what they encountered along the way.

Incense and candles are always seen at an altar. The spirits follow the aromatic smoke of burning incense and use the candles to guide themselves to their destination.

          

Look, we all seem to enjoy a drink or two and we’re ususally craving one after a stressful roadtrip or flight. How do you think the spirits feel after WHO KNOWS how long without some libations? Tequila is a popular spirit (no pun intended) found throughout Mexico and is found at an altar.

          

Vast majority of Hispanics are Catholic and many families incorporate their religious beliefs into their Day of the Dead altar by placing a crucifix. All Saints Day, a Catholic holiday, actually coincides with Day of the Dead and many Mexicans view it as the same holiday.

Flowers, specifically marigolds, are placed around the altar so the spirits can find their way into the home. The vibrant colors and fragrant scent lure the spirits in and remind us how fragile life truly is.

        

Tamales are a staple in Hispanic culture and are often made during big holidays and celebrations, like Christmas, and Day of the Dead is no exception. Many families put out other traditional foods like mole and even pumpkin. However, if grandma hated tamales and preferred a greasy hamburger, then that is what you would leave out for her. The offerings don’t always have to be traditional and can definitely be something more modern.

          

Even if you don’t come from a Hispanic background, you can still celebrate the day. Honoring those who have passed and keeping their memory alive is a universal tribute we can all get behind.

Day of the Dead

All items are available in stores now.

1. Day of the Dead Asymmetrical Face Mask

2. Day of the Dead Full Face Mask

3. Half Mask Asymmetrical Birdcage Mask

4. Single Day of the Dead Rose   (also available online)

5. Layered Spirits Necklace  (also available online)

6. Floral Crowns

7. Day of the Dead Top Hat

8. Skeleton Gloves  (also available online)

9. Day of the Dead Floral Shawl  (also available online)

10. Day of the Dead Face Stickers (this, this, or this) , designed in house by EB!  (also available online)

Ethereal Fairy

 

1. Copper Fairy Ear Cuff (available online)

2. Beauty Sparks Face Stickers  (available online)

3. Fairy Lace Cuff (available online)

4. Leaf Bangle (available online)

5. Whimsical Gold Metal Mask

6. Moon Fringe Layers Necklace (available online)

7. Butterfly Headband

8. Moon & Star Crystal Bangle (available online)

9. Cream Crochet Tunic (available online)

10. Fairy Vine Tights (available online)

Share your elegant & whimsical look with us on social media using #earthboundtrading !

Divine Witchcraft

1. Black Bell Sleeve Dress (available online)

2. Moon Draped Hair Chain

3. Black Lace Mask

4. Asymmetrical Black Mask

5. Pentacle Moon Necklace (available online)

6. Etched Obelisk Necklace (available online)

7. Etched Black Stone Earrings (available online)

8. Dark Sparkle Void Ring (available online)

9. Ruby Red Gold Hammered Ring (available online)

10. Stacked Skull Knee High Socks (available online)

11. Black Suede Fringe and Feathers Purse (available online)

12. Alchemy Temporary Tattoos (available online)

 

Share your dark and divine look with us on social media using #earthboundtrading ! 

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Spice and Flavor

If you’re from the south, more specifically Texas, then you know how excited we get about the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo. Over the years Cinco de Mayo (translation: The Fifth of May) has turned into a celebration of Mexican culture, heritage and of course, FOOD.

Often confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo is a day to remember Mexico’s unlikely victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. This was a huge morale booster for the outnumbered Mexican army and caused unity and patriotism within the country. Today, the holiday is mainly enjoyed by the United States and residents of Puebla.

We decided to try out a simple yet flavorful dish that is chock-full of color and nutrients. The ingredients in guacamole are rich and vibrant, causing temptation to play with your food. It’s fun to create a masterpiece with Mother Earth’s greatest gifts so let’s get started!

Ingredients: 

  • 3 Haas avocados
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Cayenne
  • 1- 3 Jalapenos, depending on your heat tolerance
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • Bag of tortilla chips

What you’ll need:

1. Gather all of your ingredients and get to chopping!

Cut the avocado in half with a large knife and use a spoon to scoop out the green goodness and into the bowl. Put the pits aside. Add the kosher salt, cumin, cayenne and garlic as well. Mash up the ingredients with your potato masher to your liking. If you like it chunky, don’t do it too much!

2. Dice up the onion and roma tomatoes, and chop up the cilantro. Add the ingredients to the bowl.

3. Now it’s time to dice up the jalapenos. How you chop up these little peppers will depend on how hot you like your guacamole. Love th heat? Dice up all 2 (or 3) of the jalapenos and include the seeds and ribs. If you need to dial down the temperature, cut the jalapeno lengthwise and use your knife to slice out the ribs and seeds since that is where majority of the heat is located.

4. Lime is an essential part of guacamole. Not ony does it add a bit of citrus flavor, but the acid in the lime slows down the browning of the avocados. Before you squeeze it into your bowl of avocado and spices, roll it along your cutting board to help release the juices from the lime.

5. Fold together all of the ingredients with a large spoon. If you like your guacamole really smooth, this might be a more involved process than if you like it chunky.

6. The part you’ve been waiting for: the first bite. Reach into the bag of tortilla chips and pick out the best looking chip you can find. Grab the corner of that chip and add dive right in. Warning: guacamole may be too full of tasty ingredients and can potentially break your chip. Proceed with caution (and grace).

mmm….nos encanta el guacmole! Let us know if you love this tasty green snack as much as we do.

Red Va-Voom Velvet Waffles

Valentine’s Day. You either love it, or you hate it. Either way, we can all agree on our love for decadent brunch foods like Red Velvet Waffles. There’s something about the rich red that gets everyone excited. Add cream cheese frosting and it suddenly becomes a completely acceptable breakfast item even though we all know it is practically dessert at this point. Top it off with crispy bacon and you’ve got your major food groups covered before noon.

Not in a relationship? No problem. You don’t have to have a significant other to reap the benefits of this velvety concotion. Have a love affair with the person who knows you best: YOU! You’re uniquely you, you’ve got a kind soul, and you’re beautiful inside and out! So why not treat yo self?

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¾ cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • Red food coloring (liquid or gel)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup – 1 cup whole milk
  • Bacon and/or Sausage.

Step 1: Heat up the frying pan or skillet to medium heat for the bacon and/or sausage. How much you say? As much as you want. Because bacon.

 

  

1.  Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2.  Grease waffle iron with butter or cooking spray and begin preheating.

3.  In another bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and vinegar on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add red food coloring. Make sure the red is very vibrant since it will lighten when you add the dry ingredients.

4.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Feel free to add additional food coloring in order to achieve that va-voom red.

5.  Pour the batter into your waffle maker. A traditional waffle maker will produce about 10-12 crispy goodness while a Belgian waffle maker produces about 8 big waffles.

6.  For the glaze: Whisk the softened cream cheese and butter until fluffy for a couple of minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Start with ½ cup milk and add more to achieve desired consistency. You can always double the cream cheese recipe because who doesn’t want glaze on their bacon?

 

Once they are done to a crispy goodness, remove them from the waffle iron. Add bacon or other various breakfast meats to the top and drizzle on some cream cheese frosting. As you can see, we clearly went with a heavy pour as oppose to a drizzle. The glaze is really that good.

Whether you’re spending the day with your other half or cozying up with your pet and Netflix, take time to appreciate the love you share! And don’t forget the bacon!

Recipe credit: Red Velvet Waffles Cream Cheese Glaze

DIY: Holiday Sugar Scrub

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 12.52.15 PM

When the cold weather dries out your skin, moisturizing sugar scrubs are a great shower-time pick-me-up for your skin! With delicious fragrances, they make great little DIY Christmas gifts!

(**A word of caution – these scrubs can make your shower/bathtub a little slippery, so be careful stepping out!)

We made holiday Peppermint and Pumpkin Spice scented sugar scrubs this week!
Here are your materials for either flavor:

-Storage jars
-Mixing bowls and spoons
-Festive holiday ribbon

Materials

Pumpkin Spice Ingredients:

-2 cups granulated brown sugar

-1/3 cup Coconut or Almond Oil

-1/2 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

-1/2 tablespoon Cinnamon

-1/2 tablespoon Nutmeg

Proceedure:

1 – Combine your sugar and spices in a mixing bowl. Don’t use too much of the spices – they’ll get stuck on your skin with you scrub up! (Learned this the hard way!)

2 – Add your oil, mix everything together until you have a damp but not liquidy consistency.

In-Process 2

3 – Spoon the mixture into a jar.

4 – Tie your jar with a festive bow!

 

A photo of the correct consistancy- Correct consistancy
Peppermint Ingredients:

-4 cups granulated white sugar (Sugar in the Raw works, but no powdered sugar.)

-Peppermint Essential Oil

-1/2 cup Coconut or Almond Oil

-Red food coloring

-Coffee Tamper or any round, flat-bottomed object to tamp down scrub as you layer it in the jar. It needs to be able to fit into the mouth of the jar. (We used a vitamin bottle.)

Procedure:

1 – Combine your sugar, oil and 5-6 drops of peppermint oil in a mixing bowl.

2 – Mix everything together until you have a damp but not liquidy consistency.

3 – Split your mixture into two bowls, add 5 drops of red food coloring to one bowl and blend. You can add more for a brighter red, less for a softer pink. Leave the 2nd bowl of mixture white.

4 – Spoon a ¼ cup of white sugar/oil blend into your jar, tamp it flat, then spoon in ¼ of the red mixture. Again, tamp flat so you gradually build rings of alternating colors.

Peppermint Proceedure

5 – When your jar is full, tie your jar with a festive bow!

Fin!

Fin!

Happy Holi & St. Patrick’s Day!

Today is a day for celebrating. It’s Saint Patrick’s Day AND it’s the Hindu celebration of Holi!

"Towards Faith | Devotion" by J.S. Jaimohan, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Holi is a spring festival, celebrating the beginning of the new season. It’s also known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love”. Primarily observed in India, Nepal and other regions with large Hindu populations, Holi is a bit of a colorful free-for-all. Chasing each other with colorful powder and colored water, anyone is fair game to be covered in colors!

"St. Patrick's Day weekend in Chicago" by Jamie McCaffrey, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early seventeenth century, honoring Ireland’s patron saint. While still a religious holiday today, the day has also become a celebration of Irish culture and heritage. Parades, festivals, wearing the color green, traditional Irish music, and a fair bit of alcohol consumption all play a part in the celebration of this holiday.

What and how are you celebrating today?

Photo Credits:
“Towards Faith | Devotion” ©2011 J.S. Jaimohan, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License
“St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Chicago” ©2013 Jamie McCaffrey, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License