Creamy New York Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

Cheesecake has always been a “special occasion” dessert in my house. I started thinking to myself… why?? My husband always requests cheesecake as his birthday dessert, and it became a once or twice a year thing. Well, in the last three months I have made this recipe twice, so I see a new trend coming! It’s not overly complicated, and OH SO GOOD.

This New York style cheesecake is creamy and thick topped with the most decadent chocolate ganache drizzle. Can you just taste it now?! Even better news- this recipe is amazing as plain good ‘ol cheesecake. You can top it with a couple fresh strawberries or chopped nuts. The pretzel crumb crust gives a salty balance to the sweet, rich middle. This crust also compliments SO well with the chocolate ganache. You won’t regret it!

INGREDIENTS

Filling

  • 3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Pretzel Crust

  • 1 1/2 cup Pretzels (ground)
  • 1/2 cup Graham Crackers (ground)
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 8 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (melted)
  • Pinch Salt

Ganache

  • 20 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 14 oz can of condensed milk

STEPS

Coat an 8inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Blend all dry crust ingredients in a food processor, then stir in with butter until well combined.  Press crust mixture into pan. Bake crust at 350F for 15 minutes.

Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla. I typically use the paddle attachment on medium speed to blend ingredients with the stand mixer. Pour cheesecake batter into baked crust and bake at 325F for 50-55 minutes. Let cool completely at room temp (to prevent cracks in the top from drastic temperature change), refrigerate until serving. The middle of the cheesecake should feel firm.

Optional Chocolate Ganahce (*as pictured): In a double boiler, melt 20 ounces semi-sweet chocolate and a 14 ounce can of condensed milk together on medium heat while constantly stirring. Drizzle on top of baked cheesecake. Top with chopped nuts for a little extra crunch!

 

Drooling over here…. Enjoy!
XOXO,
Jo

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Thick Chocolate Fudge Frosting

I bake a lot…. a lot, a lot. I have spent many afternoons playing with different icing recipes to come up with that rich, decadent, thick chocolate fudge frosting, and folks, here it is! This is that frosting that melts as soon as it hits your mouth and is dense enough to create the whips and peaks on top of your cake that won’t wilt and run. It is SO perfect. I have an army of taste-testers to prove it!

What I didn’t want? Runny, granulated, so sweet my teeth hurt, or (the worst) for it to taste like “fake chocolate”. We have all seen frosting efforts gone wrong, so save yourself the heartache, and stick to this recipe.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2-4 tbs milk (whole is best, but not required) 
  • 1 cup softened butter, not melted
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (no big chunks)
  • 6 oz semi sweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder

Total Yield: Makes enough to frost about 24 cupcakes, or fully cover a one layer cake. For multiple layers, I would double the recipe.

STEPS

  1. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat butter and melted chocolate together until combined.
  2. Slowly add in all other ingredients and carefully blend until smooth.
  3. If too thick, you can add a tbs of milk until the desired consistency. Adversely, you can add 1 tbs increments of powdered sugar to thicken.

frosting-horizontal-2

Pro Tips:

  • Do not frost the cake until completely cooled (1-2 hours) or your frosting will pick up the top layer as you spread it around.
  • Make sure not to set your mixer to high after adding the powdered sugar…. You’ll be wearing it.
  • Can be refrigerated, but make sure to set out at room temp and re-blend before trying to ice anything.

Don’t forget to lick the spoon!

Jo

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Easy Carrot Pecan Pound Cake

One of my all time favorite desserts has always been carrot cake. It is one that we have at all holiday gatherings, and is often my first choice when it comes to birthday celebrations. With that said, I have adopted several versions that put a spin on my traditional carrot cake recipe. This easy carrot pecan pound cake is delicious served cold with a tall glass of milk or with coffee as a breakfast treat in the morning. If you’re anything like me, dessert is a requirement with each meal of the day.

You will get a dense, moist cake with hints of cinnamon topped with cream cheese frosting. The texture is perfectly balanced with the chopped nuts and coconut flakes (my favorite!). If you are new to the world of bundt cakes, welcome! It makes for a simple and beautiful result!

carrot-cut

INGREDIENTS

Cake:

  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Icing:

  • 1 (80z) package of cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tbs heavy cream (can substitute for milk)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened not melted

Total Servings: 8-10 people

carrot-carrot  carrot-pecan

carrot-bundt-not-baked   carrot-bundt-baked

STEPS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Combine all dry ingredients (flour, spices, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt). Mix well and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine oil, sour cream, eggs, and carrots. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Slowly add dry mixture to wet, stirring continuously.
  5. Add chopped nuts and shredded coconut.
  6. Grease your bundt pan with non-stick spray, and add batter.
  7. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  8. Once done, let it set in the pan for 10 minutes. Place a plate larger than the cake pan upside down the cover the cake. Grab the sides of the pan while holding the plate firmly on top, and flip it over, so that the cake is not on the plate.
  9. Let cool for 5-10 more minutes and pour the icing around the center line around the cake. It should be thin enough to run down the sides.
  10. Serve room temp, warm, or refrigerated!

Icing:

  1. Combine cream cheese, vanilla, heavy cream, and softened butter and beat on low-medium setting until smooth.
  2. Slowly add in powdered sugar and continue mixing.
  3. If needed, add more milk to thin, and more powdered sugar to thicken the consistency.

carrot-final  carrot-horizontal-slice

Pro Tips:

  • Cream cheese with mix easier at room temperature.
  • Using regular sour cream (not reduced/ low fat) will make for a moister cake.
  • No time to shred the carrots by hand? Throw them in the food processor like I did for a finely chopped texture (see photo above).

Happy Baking!

Jo

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Spinach, Tomato, Potato, and CHEESE Quiche!

Let’s be real, I should have listed the ingredients in the title in order of personal significance. Cheese would be first. This quiche is hearty AND (mostly) healthy, so what more can you ask for?! I eat quiche for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s that great. Quiche is also a versatile meal. Got ground turkey? Throw it in… Bell peppers about to go bad? Yep, they can come too. Bacon, shredded chicken, more cheese, garlic, broccoli, sweet peppers, hot peppers, cheese again… Get creative! It’s the “everything quiche”.

quiche-slice

INGREDIENTS

  • one pie crust
  • 1- 1/2 cups fresh spinach (1 cup frozen chopped)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 baby red potatoes, julienned
  • 7-8 baby heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1/2 cup shredded colby jack
  • 1/8 cup feta
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbs butter
  • olive oil

STEPS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease pie dish and flatten the dough
  3. Wash and chop baby red potatoes into small pieces
  4. Finley chop the yellow onion
  5. In a medium skillet, melt butter and pan fry the chopped potatoes and onion together
  6. Cook until tender, or about 12-15 minutes on medium heat
  7. Remove from heat and evenly spread as the first, base layer in the pie crust.
  8. In the same skillet, combine olive oil and chopped spinach (fresh or frozen). Cook on low heat until warmed and wilted.
  9. Toss in crumbled feta to cooked spinach.
  10. Layer on top of potatoes.
  11. In a separate bowl, combine milk, beaten eggs, seasonings, shredded cheese, and parmesan. Stir well.
  12. Pour liquid egg mixture over the potatoes and spinach in the pie dish.
  13. Lay sliced heirloom tomatoes across the top.
  14. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes.

quiche-horizontal-knife

Pro Tips:

  • Feel free to interchange any of the veggies with what you have on hand!
  • Let it sit over night before serving (refrigerated) to enhance the flavors.
  • Want that perfect quiche look without the container? Bake it in a well greased flan pan, and you can pop it out when cooled.

“Quiches”… See what I did there

Jo

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Baked Green Beans and Roasted Tomatoes

As much as I loveeee chocolate chip cookies, veggies have their special place in my heart, too. I make these baked green beans and roasted tomatoes at least once week to get in a hearty dose of nutrients with minimal effort and big flavor! From start to finish under 15 minutes. That’s my kind of dish.

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You know those soggy green beans? The ones that kind of fall apart when you stab them with your fork… Unless they are part of a Thanksgiving green bean casserole, that shouldn’t be happening. I like my greens crisp on the outside with a burst of flavor and juice in every bite. Roasting your veggies (especially with a little lemon juice) elevates their natural flavors and gives that perfect texture. Not to mention it is easier than boiling- which can turn them into little rubbery stalks. I am telling you, this will become a staple side dish in your house once you get a taste!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups fresh (or frozen) green beans
  • 1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 4-5 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbs lemon juice

Total Servings: 4 individual portions

green-beans

STEPS

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up
  3. Wash and dry produce, cut heirloom tomatoes into halves or quarters
  4. In a large bowl, toss green beans, halved baby heirloom tomatoes, sliced almonds, minced garlic, and seasonings in oil and lemon juice until evenly coated
  5. Spread over the baking sheet and roast at 400F for 12-15 minutes

green-beans-horizontal   green-beans-baked

Eat Up!

Jo

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DIY Faux Concrete/Stone Planter

Over the last month, I have turned into a plant lady. I swore it would never happen, but I even go to the Garden Center for “fun”. Turns out, it’s not always a cheap hobby. You know that book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”? It’s JUST like that…

pot-horizontal

It starts with the plant (or plants), next the potting soil, then the gardening tools, and a pot! Well, starting in September, the Garden Center marks about half of their plant inventory to 70% off as the winter months are approaching. Score! However, the pots typically remain full price. I knew that I wanted a stone or concrete looking pot that had a heavy, durable appearance. I found what I wanted, but for wayyyyyy too much money. Justifying purchasing six $150-$175 pots would not fly with the hubby. These were my inspiration. No problem- I love crafts and DIY projects.

I started looking at cheaper alternatives, and guess what, they looked like their price tag did. Poor quality and ugly colors. There aren’t many things that Home Depot and I cannot fix, so I went there next. I was able to use three cans of different spray paints to create three faux stone/cement looking pots for under $20.00 each!!

pot-vertical  pots-paint  pots-close-up-paint

Here is how:

MATERIALS

  • Rust-oleum professional spray primer in 7582 gray, here
  • Rust-oleum hammered spray paint in 7214 gray, here
  • Rust-oleum multicolor textured spray paint in 223525 aged iron, here
  • Pot of your choice (I found mine on sale at Walmart, but check out your Dollar General too!)
  • Optional fine grit sand paper (the primer will take care of this too), here
  • Drop cloth or old sheets to paint on, here 

*all color codes and names should be located on the back of the can on a white barcode label screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-8-39-09-am 

This was my inspiration! $175.00?? No, thank you.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-8-56-02-am

This is what I found on sale discounted even lower at my local Walmart. Mine was just $13.00 and some change! Yes!

STEPS

  1. Spread your drop cloth outside in a well-ventilated area.
  2. You can lightly sand the exterior of the pot depending on the existing finish. Roughing up the outside allows the paint to stick better. (I skipped this step, and it turned out fine using primer.) 
  3. In steady even strokes, spray the primer keeping the nozzle 10-16″ from the surface.
  4. Give the first coat a few minutes to dry, and repeat with another coat of primer.
  5. After letting it set for about 5-7 minutes, start with the hammered spray. It has a shinier finish for a more formal look. I did not spray it to coat it completely, but rather to add dimension and texture to the flat surface.
  6. Alternate with the multicolor textured spray. I really liked this one! It gave the pot the feel and look of concrete that I wanted.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have achieved your desired darkness or lightness.
  8. Allows 24 hours to dry completely before potting your plants.
  9. Ta-da! Textured, faux stone appearance for under 20 bucks!

Pro Tips:

  • Wear disposable gloves! I got excited and distracted and had spray paint all over my nails and hands for three days.
  • Not sure what it will look like? Test the bottom! No one will ever see it anyway.
  • Does your pot have a drain hole at the bottom? If you are potting an outdoor plant, make sure you drill a few holes in the bottom for excess water before you plant.
  • Is it for an indoor plant? Fill the bottom 3-4 inches with gravel before your potting soil goes in to allow the water to drown and not flood the roots.

Happy Painting!

Jo

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Blueberry Lemon Streusel Muffins

Bakery-style blueberry lemon streusel muffins are such a treat! I cannot tell you how popular these are in my house. They are beautiful to look at, and taste just as fantastic! This recipe is my favorite “pretend like you’re at a fancy brunch” pastry when we have guests in town! There is just something about having baked goods in pretty glass dome on the counter that feels so homey to me.

One of my sister’s really loves lemon, so I try to make a special batch just for her! This recipe doubles easily, and they keep at room temperature several days/refrigerated for about a week. Ya-ya-YUMMMM.

batter-12  batter-13

INGREDIENTS

Crumb Topping:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened not melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Muffins:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries *if frozen, see pro tips below 

Optional Glaze:

  • 3 tbs lemon (juice)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Total Servings: (24) standard sized muffins/ (12) jumbo

muffins-vertical-plank  muffin-vertical-single

STEPS

  1. Preheat oven at 350F
  2. Combine softened butter, lemon zest, lemon juice
  3. Add vanilla, sugar, and eggs; stir until combined
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, add buttermilk, and mix until combined
  6. Fold in rinsed frozen or fresh blueberries slowly and GENTLY stir. No hand beaters, or you blueberries will become mush.
  7. Bake at 350F for 10-20 minutes depending on the size of your container. I made this batch (as pictured) jumbo, and it took about 20 minutes.
  8. While they are in the oven, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice for your glaze.
  9. Once they are finished and completely cooled, drizzle glaze over the top and marvel at your masterpiece!

Prop Tips:

  • No buttermilk on hand? You can substitute 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 tbs of white distilled vinegar. In a separate small bowl, combine milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before using.
  • Do not over-stir batter. Just until combined to keep the final product fluffy.
  • If using frozen blueberries (I did!), make sure to rinse before combing or the residue for thawing and refreezing from the grocery store to your home will turn your batter blue.
  • Let the muffins cool completely before icing or the glaze will melt into the muffin instead of giving that perfect crisp iced top.

muffin-hortizontal-blueberries  muffin-wrapper-hortizontal

These really are so delicious. I just cannot say enough about them. You will feel like a total professional in the kitchen when these are served. As you can see, I certainly enjoyed mine… can’t you tell!!

Jo

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Quick Homemade Tomato Basil Soup

It’s here! Soup weather is upon us! Homemade tomato basil soup is like a warm hug. This creamy dish is perfect to eat alone or with some of my homemade bread. And let’s talk about basil. Fresh basil smells so divine. After making this soup, my hands smelled like peppery, minty goodness for hours. No complaints here!

I have included the mostly homemade recipe perfect for days when you are pressed for time. I always double it to make sure there are leftovers for a quick lunch!

soup-horiztonal  soup-horizontal-2

INGREDIENTS

  • (1) 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • (1) 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 15-20 Basil leaves, finely chopped

Total Servings: About 8 servings (unless your bowl looks like mine… then 5-6!)

STEPS

  1. Start by combining crushed and diced tomatoes, broth, and garlic. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, continue stirring.
  2. Reduce heat and add sugar and butter until completely dissolved.
  3. Slowly pour the heavy cream while stirring.
  4. Toss in the finely chopped basil. (I LOVE this smell)
  5. Let it simmer for a few minutes, and you are ready to serve.

soup-vertical-2  soup-vertical

Pro Tips:

  • You can substitute fresh basil for dried, but the impact will not be as strong.
  • You can slightly brown garlic in a skillet before adding it in. This will enhance its’ flavor.
  • Double the recipe, and freeze it in single portion containers for a quick treat!

In my house growing up, “soup weather” started in October and went through March. In Texas it’s warm/hot/humid/sticky all but two weeks out of the year, but we could certainly pretend to have a real winter! As soon as the pretending would start, the soup pot would come out and this bad boy would make an appearance almost weekly. It is that good!

Jo

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Grain-Free Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Calling all dog people! Let’s talk fur babies. I have adopted this grain-free sweet potato dog treat as our primary puppy snack. I checked out the nutrition label on the Milk Bones we had previously… not so great. Even better, our dogs seem to like them even more! It’s a guilt-free snack that you can feel good about sharing with your favorite furry.

dog-bone-3

We have two rescue pups, Lila and Lady. Lila is a Brindle Labrador mix, and Lady is a Shepherd/ Border Collie mix. *Over-sharing alert!* Lila can eat pretty much anything, and our sweet little Lady has tummy issues all the time… until we pinpointed her grain allergy. Poor thing was feeling sick every time she ate. We switched her diet to protein and veggie based, fancy, dog-boutique food, and within six weeks she was all better! (I know, I know. Insert eye-roll.) Most dog treats are made with grain, so I had to get creative. This recipe was a huge success!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chicken or beef broth (water works too)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 3 tbl peanut butter (optional) 
  • parchment paper
  • dog bone cookie cutters (can also bake like traditional cookies)
  • mason jar, or storage containers
  • blender or food processor (not mandatory, but certainly easier!)

Total Servings: About 45-50 dog treats (2.5 inch cookie cutter)

dog-1  dog-bone-2

STEPS

  1. Preheat oven to 250F
  2. Prepare two baking sheets covered with parchment paper, set aside.
  3. Boil sweet potatoes for 12-15 minutes, or until you can easily stick a fork through it.
  4. Drain water and blend boiled sweet potatoes in food processor (with skin).
    • You could also remove skin and mash if doing it by hand.
  5.  In a large bowl, combine mashed/blended sweet potatoes with 1/4 cup broth and peanut butter.
  6. With a stand mixer, or hand beaters whip together. (Old fashioned hand-mixing can get the job done too!)
  7. In a separate bowl, combine almond meal and coconut flour.
  8. Add dry ingredients to mashed sweet potatoes, stir until thoroughly combined.
  9. The dough should be thick, but not crumbly.
  10. Roll out a handful of the dough with a rolling pin or flatten by hand until about 1/4 inch thick.
  11. Cookie cutter time! Use cookie cutter and place on parchment paper.
  12. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  13. Bake at 250F for about 45-50 minutes. They treats should come out hard.
  14. Let cool for 1-2 hours to completely firm up, then serve to your pampered pooch!

Will keep for 1-2 weeks.

dog-mason  dogsss

Pro-Tips:

  • You can store these in an airtight container, but they will likely get soft. They are certainly still edible, just without the crunchy milk bone texture. You can leave the lid off to keep the crunch.
  • Add some poultry seasoning to give it a little extra kick. I did not, and my dogs still nearly ran me over to get to the “cookie jar”!

lila-aaaa

XOXO from Lila and Lady!

Jo

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DIY Grapeseed Oil Body Moisturizer… No Chemicals!

Every evening, I end my day with a moisturizing blend of natural oils, essential oils, and most importantly… no chemicals. Here is how it started. I was in Target on the lotion isle deciding with lotion to try next. This time of year especially my skin is so dry, and I have always been a lotion snob. It has to be scent-free and extra creamy and blah blah blah.  Well, I started looking on the back of the bottles at the active ingredients and… SCARY. Even lotions and body cream advertised to be “healthy” or “green” are often far from it. For the past year, this has been my daily moisturizer, and it is here to stay.

My thoughts are…If I could potentially eat it, then I think it safe for my skin!

So what’s my routine? This is my EVERY DAY out of the shower moisturizer. I understand that in the middle of the day a pump of oil in your hands may not be practical to quickly absorb and go on about your business. However, allowing these nutrients and vitamins to soak in your skin all night is SO wonderful. You will wake up with soft, hydrated HAPPY skin without comprising your health with added chemicals. Yes, please!

oil-horizontal

INGREDIENTS

Total Yield: This recipe makes a little over 2 cups of moisturizer. Adjust according to your bottle.

You can purchase the highest quality essential oils here! (in my researched opinion!)

oil-essential-oils-horizontal

STEPS

  1. Pour 1 cup grape seed oil into container
  2. Add peppermint essential oil
  3. Add lavender essential oil
  4. Add cedarwood essential oil
  5. Pour 1/8-1/4 (1-2 oz.) cup rosehip oil
  6. Pour 1/2 cup coconut oil
  7. Give it a swift shake, and you are all set!

*Coconut oil is thicker than grape seed oil and takes a slightly longer amount of time to fully absorb. Both are extremely hydrating and great for sensitive skin (like mine!). This is the recipe/ratio that I use, but feel free to play with it. 

What do these ingredients do? 

Grapeseed Oil : This stuff is magic! This oil is light on the the skin, easily absorbed and safe for sensitive skin. It is rich in beta-carotene and vitamins D, C, E…. all fabulous for fighting wrinkles, reducing aging effects, and restoring collagen production. [Light yellow color]

Coconut Oil : Coconut oil is predominately made up of nutrient dense proteins and saturated fats. Together this composition contributes to keeping the skin plump and full… no wrinkles and sagging skin here! An added bonus that the proteins support tissue repair and cellular health. As I mentioned earlier, this oil is slightly thicker than grapeseed oil and very moisturizing. It soaks in within minutes and leaves the skin ultra-hydrated. [Colorless]

Rosehip Oil : Rosehip oil is well-known for its’ anti-aging properties along with encouraging strong elasticity while nourishing dry skin. It is currently one of the most sought after organic skincare oils for its’ powerful effects. A little bit goes a long way, hence it not being the primary ingredient in this moisturizer. [Orangey color]

Peppermint : Invigorating to your senses and calming at the end of a long day! This is one of my top three essential oils for so many things… headaches, chest congestion, diffusing… you name it. Find out more here.

Lavender : You know that Johnson’s lavender baby lotion? Well, they chose that scent for a reason. Lavender has proven calming affects for your mind and body. Your skin will drink it up.

Cedarwood : This essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties and is soothing to skin irritations. This is excellent for eczema and rosacea.

oil-vertical

Pro Tips:

  • How do I use this magic oil? Apply just out the shower after you pat dry. Your skin will absorb the oil easier when it is warm.
  • Does the quality matter? Yes! If you are going to apply essential oils topically or ingest them as a supplement, you neeeeeed to research the product before using it. I have found that Young Living products provide the highest level of quality because of their seed to seal distilling process. They have quality control guarantees in place throughout every stage of the process, and that’s what I want for my body.
  • Does it stain? I have never had an issue with clothing or sheets staining. I would allow a few minutes after gently rubbing it in before you test it out.
  • How much do I use? Enough to cover the skin thoroughly. To get really specific, I use one pump per arm and midsection. two pumps per leg. It smells and feel SO good after a hot shower.
  • Where does it go? Everywhere! Depending on your level of sensitivity, these oils are also safe for you face. I would lower the peppermint concentration to 3-5 drops so it does not burn close to your eyes. For extra sensitive skin (like mine), eliminate the coconut oil for the face.
  • I have oily skin/acne already. Does this make it worse? No way! The effects of naturals oils go against what our initial impression may be. Grapeseed oil and peppermint in particular contribute to regulating oil production in the skin. Read more here! Grapeseed oil is jam packed with antioxidants that prevent the pores from clogging. The anti-inflammatory properties of cedarwood also help in this department. If you are unsure, test a small area for a few weeks and see how it works for you!
  • Other essential oils great for skin… geranium, frankincense, carrot seed, myrrh, neroli, and patchouli. Check them out!

I’d love to hear your feedback!

Jo

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