Non-Toxic Essential Oil Bug Spray that Actually Works

Bugs and mosquitoes. The inevitable accessory of summer we could all do without. Why Mother Nature gifts us these creatures – we have no idea. But as we enjoy the outdoors, we’re bound to get up close and personal with these little guys, whether we like it or not.

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Taste of Turkey: Homemade Kisir

They say a way to a person’s heart is through their stomach and our Turkish friend Hulya chartered a non-stop flight to flavor town. Hulya, a long-time friend of our Director of Online Sales, was born in Adana, Turkey and moved to the U.S. in 2001 after meeting her now-husband who was on assignment in Turkey.

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One Stack, Two Forks

Food is love, and this Valentine’s Day brunch spread is loveliness incarnate. EB’s Alex took to the kitchen to whip up a decadent breakfast of Gluten-Free Nutella Pancakes with Fresh Sliced Strawberries. Look for the how-to behind our pretty Carnation Garland in an upcoming Earthbound Blog post and reemerge a refreshed you.

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Moscow Mule Recipe

The Moscow Mule started as a way to sell vodka, specifically Smirnoff, and ginger beer, specifically Cockn’ Bull. In 1941, John G. Martin worked for a company who recently acquired the Smirnoff brand, which is originally from Moscow, Russia. “Jack” Morgan was the President of Cock ‘n’ Bull Products, who produced ginger beer. These two guys met up in Los Angeles, put their heads together, and came up with the classic Moscow Mule.

Today there are multiple variations but one thing stands true: it always includes vodka and ginger beer.

So why a copper mug? Martin went from bar to bar with his Polaroid taking snapshots of bartenders posing with a bottle of Smirnoff and a copper mug. He would leave one picture with the bartender to display in his bar and would take one with him to put in his traveling photo album to show other bartenders. Today the mug is synonymous with the Moscow Mule.

Although the drink was traditionally made with Smirnoff Vodka, we chose to use Tito’s since it is from Texas and our home office is in Texas.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup (or 2 oz.) of vodka of your choice
  • 1 tbsp (1/2 a lime) of fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup ( 4 to 6 oz.) of chilled ginger beer
  • 1 lime wedge, for garnish
  • mint leaves, for garnish
  • Moscow Mule Mug

1. Squeeze the fresh lime around the inside of the mug and drop it in.

2. Add a few ice cubes and throw in some torn mint leaves.

3. Pour in the vodka and ginger beer. Stir it up.

4. Garnish with a lime wedge.

If you don’t like ice in your drink, you can always use a shaker first. The stainless steel mug keeps it extra cold and insulated.

Get sippn’ here and impress all of your friends with this simple yet classic drink.

Healthy Pumpkin Dog Treats (with DogsButter too!)

‘Tis the season for holiday parties and friendsgiving gatherings with the people – and pups – we love the most. We become googling machines, hunting for the best hostess gift for the next event. If you’re like us, then most of your friends probably have a dog, or two…or three they think the world of. We even tend to treat our dogs better than ourselves and want what’s best for them. Fur children are real chidren, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

So what do you bring along with that bottle of wine and agate coasters when you’re in a rush? Whip up this healthy and easy batch of dog treats for the hostess’ one true love and maybe you’ll get an extra serving or to go box of that mac n cheese you were eyeing all night.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup DOGSBUTTER (Unlike real PB, this doesn’t have any added salt, sugar or hydrogenated oils)
  • 1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree, canned
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (might need less, depending on consistency)

Supplies:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix the DOGSBUTTER and pumpkin puree together. Add 1/4 cup of flour at a time and stir together until the dough isn’t sticky. You don’t want the mixture to become too dough-y.

 

3. Grab your rolling pin and roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it is about 1/4″ thick. Start cutting out the treats with the dog cookie cutters.

4. Add parchment paper to the cookie sheet and place the dog treats on it.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 – 10 minutes. Remove them once they are completely cooled and store it in an airtight container. Since these are all natural, the shelf life is only 3 – 5 days.


If you try these out, let us know how your dog or friend’s dog likes them! Pumpkin puree is rich in soluble fiber and is great for keeping their digestive tract running smoothly. Plus the DOGSBUTTER provides added nutritional benefits like Vitamin E, protein, and Omega-3’s, which is great for their skin.

Fragrant & Spicy: Indian Chole Palak

Happy World Vegetarian Day! Most of us love our greasy burgers, perfectly seared steaks, and bacon (Yeah..don’t forget the bacon). Even if you don’t want to commit to a life sans-meat, everyone should make an effort to incorporate more veggies and fruits into their diet and less animal prodcuts. Why, you ask?

1. You’ll feel better and live longer

Eating animal products has a negative affect on our overall heart health. A diet full of fat and cholestrol can lead to heart disease, like clogged arteries. Plus you’ll feel less sluggish overall.

2. You’ll save money

Eating vegeterian is cheap. Browse the produce aisle at the grocery store. Now browse the meat section. See a difference? If you’re concerned about protein, tofu is actually pretty affordable in comparison to meat. Protein can also be found in things like beans, chickpeas, soy and nuts.

3. You’ll save lives

Many of us have seen videos online of the horrible conditions farm animals live in. That’s the reality of it.

4. You’ll help the environment

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has reported that the chemical and animal waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for more than 173,000 miles of polluted rivers and streams.

Have you seen cowspirarcy? It’s a pretty eye opening movie when it comes to our consumption of animal products. Check it out on Netflix.

Convinced yet? If these reasons don’t move you to at least try to eat more vegetarian based dishes, then you don’t have a heart. Kidding. Bacon is wonderful. But so is this traditional Indian dish called Chole Palak, made from spinach and garbanzo beans and plenty of fragrant spice, like garam masala. Go on, try it. It’s pretty simple.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 19 oz can of chickpeas a.ka. garbanzo beans
  • 3 cups of chopped spinach
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2″ piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 green chili
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • basmati rice
  • naan bread
  • lemon wedges

Supplies

  • sautee pan with lid
  • blender or food processor
  • spatula or potato masher
  • measuring spoons
  • knife

1. Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas a.k.a garbanzo beans in a colander.

2. Cut up the tomatoes, green chili and ginger. Add them to a food processor or blender to make a puree.

3. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan at a medium/low temperature and add the diced onion. Continue to sautee them until their soft and brown, appx. 5 minutes.

4. Once the onion is sauteed, add the cumin seed and let that heat up together for appx. 2 minutes. Then add the puree of tomato goodness + coriander, turmeric, red pepper. Let that simmer for about 3 – 4 minutes on medium heat.

5. Add the chopped spinach, salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Cover it. Let that continue to cook for 5 minutes.

6. Add the chickpeas and mash them up a bit with a spatula or potato masher. Add the garam masala and let it cook on low heat, covered, for 7 – 8 minutes.

Remove the lid and let the aroma of garam masala transport you to India. And you thought only meat tasted this good! 😉 Serve it over warm basmati rice and top it off with a lemon wedge, if you like. Dip the naan bread into the sauce or use it to scoop some of the chickpea and spinach concoction.

See! Eating vegetarian isn’t that bad. If you’ve decided to go vegetarian or have tried to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, let us know in the comments! We could use a little inspiration.

Day in the Life with Essential Oils

Essential oils are all the rage right now. From tupperware-style parties in homes to health food stores, these plant-based oils can be found almost everywhere. If you’re like me, then you might have been a bit skeptical at first. Some people believe they can cure anything from the common cold to even cancer. I became curious about these potion-like oils and started experimenting. I will say they do affect my mood and some oils definitely help when it comes to clearing toxins in your skin and balancing sebum. As someone with sensitive skin that is prone to acne, this seemed too good to be true. However, they do come straight from mother nature so there must be some truth to it.

Come explore with us as we try out different essential oils throughout our daily routine.

 


No matter how much sleep you got the night before, waking up in the morning can be a nightmare for some of us (hi, yes. that’s me. I’m a bear in the a.m.)  Many of us try to counteract the drowsy feeling with loads of caffeine, which can irritate sensitive stomachs and cause a horrible mental crash later. I like to start the morning on my mat with a diffuser by my side while I do a few simple yoga poses to get the blood and energy flowing. In the morning I especially love the scents of citrus like lemon, grapefruit and orange. Citrus is incredibly invigorating and will definitely help you wake up and give you the mental clarity that is so desperately needed.

1. Morning Pick Me Up Recipe: Use 10-20 drops total per oz. My favorite scent is lemon so I tend to use a little more.

  • lemon
  • grapefruit
  • peppermint
  • orange

After I’ve woken up my body with citrus essential oils and yoga, I wash my face to really feel recharged and ready to go. Many face washes and soaps can have chemicals that strip your face of its natural oils, which leaves you feeling either too dry or too oily. But unscented castile soap is known for having organic, all-natural ingredients like olive oil and coconut oil. Lemon is added to the face wash because it acts as an astringent and tea tree oil can help with acne.

Note: Lemon is a photosensitizing oil, meaning it can cause skin irritation after sun exposure so be careful!

 

2. All Natural Face Wash Recipe

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 tbsp tea tree essential oil

If you’re going through a stressful time or ate too much pizza the night before, then you may have a few acne flare-ups you need to deal with (we’ve all been there. And pizza is totally worth it). Tea tree oil is known for its anti-acne properties and lavender is known to calm irritated skin. The combination can be powerful so only add a small amount to the affected area with a q-tip.

 

3. Skin Care Blend Recipe

  • 6 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 6 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of peppermint or lemon essential oil

Add to 1 ounce of jojoba and apply with a q-tip essential oil


We’re all too familiar with that dragging, tired feeling we often get in the afternoon. Around 3 o’clock everyday I start yawning and grabbing for the coffee. Caffeine is a quick fix but it can leave you feeling super sluggish and can cause trouble sleeping even hours later. For an afternoon recharge, I use a USB diffuser on my desk with the essential oils below to keep my mind sharp and on track.

Sidenote: This little USB diffuser is one of my personal favorites because of its size. If you travel you can pack it in your bag to use in your hotel after a long day.


 

4. Afternoon Pick Me Up Recipe

  • 6 drops of rosemary
  • 3 drops of lemon
  • 2 drops of frankincense

After a long day when I simply can’t take anymore and I’m officially exhausted, I love unwinding with a warm bath (and a glass of wine. or three). Making your own bath salts is pretty simple and can have a huge impact on your mind and body. The scents help your mind escape to relaxation while the warm bath soothes aching muscles. This combination of oils, especially the eucalyptus, is perfect for alleviating symptoms of a stuffy nose or a sore throat.

5. Breath Easy Bath Salts Recipe: per 1 oz. of bath salts.

  • 4 drops of Eucalyptus
  • 3 drops of rosemary
  • 2 drops of lavender

There it is, a day in the life with essential oils. Finding ways to add these oils into your life can be simple and doesn’t have to be a huge overhaul of your everyday routine. Since everyone is different, some oils may work better with you than others and some scents you may not like at all, and that’s okay. Take time to experiment and find what works for you.
What recipes have you come up with and how do you like to use them?

DIY Essential Oils Candle

There’s just something about candles and their ability to change our mood we can’t get enough of. The smells can be relaxing or invigorating and the flicker of the light is mesmerizing. You can ignite just one or create an alter with various sizes and styles. We decided to try our hand at creating our own essential oil candles. The combinations are endless and we reccomend experimenting until you find a scent combination you love

What you’ll need:

-A clean candle container, use one from a burnt out candle for an upcycled option. We chose one with a hand painted design.

-1 lb of soy wax flakes

-Candle wick

-Scissors

-Chopsticks, or a pencil works too

-Essential Oils: We’re using Lavender, Orange, Lemongrass, Patchouli and Grapefruit

-Oven mitt

Step 1: Place the metal part of the wick at the bottom of the container. Carefully and tightly wrap the wick around the chopstick so it rests on the side of the container but still touches the bottom of it. Now that you know the right size, remove the chopstick and wick.


 

 

Step 2: Fill the container to the top with soy wax flakes. It can be hard to judge exactly how much of the flakes you need, so keep the rest nearby.


 

Step 3: Put the container and the flakes in the microwave and heat them up for approximately :30 seconds. Take out the container – don’t forget to use the mitt! – and mix up the flakes with the chopstick. Check to see how much has melted. If they barely melted, stick it back in the microwave for another :30. If they started to melt, simply add in more flakes and repeat the process until the wax is melted and approximately an inch away from the top.


 

Step 4: Place the container on a heat safe surface to let it cool. Continue to periodically stir it so it doesn’t solidify. Once it is cooler but not solid, Add the drops to the candle and mix them in with the other chopstick

How many drops should you use?

This question is tricky and depends on the type of oil you’re using as well as how potent you’d like your candle. The recipe is generally 1/4 oz of essential oil per 1 lb of soy wax. This is approximately 150 drops per 1 lb of candle wax!!

We used a 9 oz candle jar so we used approximately 80 drops total.


Step 5: Slowly and carefully add the wick back into the candle and let the chopstick rest on the edge. Do not place the candle in the fridge. Let it rest for at least 48 hours.

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: Floral Ice Cube

Summer is winding down, but here in the south we’re still hosting a last few pool parties before we break out the boots, scarves, and hot chocolate.

If you’re hosting your own last hurrah summer party, we’ve got an easy-peasy DIY project to give your drinks a cute floral flourish. These look perfect in an ice tea tumbler with your favorite summer beverage.

Materials:

1 – Edible Flowers – There are many different kinds, but we recommend buying from a gourmet or health food store so you can be sure they’re free of pesticides.

2 – Ice Cube Tray – We love the silicon ice cube trays, they come in lots of fun shapes, and they make it easy to pop out the cubes.

3 – Distilled Water – Distilled water has fewer impurities and makes clearer ice cubes.

Materials Process 1
Procedure –

1 – Arrange a flower or two on the bottom of each ice cube compartment.

2 – Pour just enough distilled water into the tray to fill it about 1/3 full.

3 – Allow the partially full tray to freeze over a few hours. By filling it only 1/3 full, it holds the flowers in place so they don’t immediately float to the top of the cube.

4 – When the tray is frozen (or at least mostly frozen) add another layer of flowers and fill 2/3rds full. Freeze again.

Process 3 Process 4

5 – When the second layer is frozen, add your third, and last layer of flowers and fill the tray up completely.

6 – Allow the tray to freeze overnight so the cubes are nice and solid when you add them to drinks!

Final 1 Water
Need a couple of drink ideas? We couldn’t help doing a little research!

For all-ages entertaining, try:

Honey Limeade – Mix and serve over ice: 1 cup lime juice, 5 cups water, 2/3rds cups of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of honey.

Lemon Almond Tea – Mix and serve over ice: 4 cups hot black tea, 2 thinly sliced lemons, 1 tablespoon almond extract, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 can lemonade concentrate.

For adult beverages, try:

Grapefruit Margaritas – Mix and serve over ice in salt-rimmed margarita glasses: 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice, 1 cup tequila (blanco or reposado), 1/3 cup fresh lime juice, 1/2 cup Cointreau, 1 teaspoon agave nectar.

Cedarwood Cranberry Cocktail – Mix and serve over ice: 1 oz fresh lemon juice, 2 oz vodka (regular or cranberry), 4 ounces cranberry juice, and 3 1/2 ounces ginger ale.