Tag Archives: food for thought

Semi-Off Topic: DIY Detox Bath Salts

DIY Detox Bath Salts

For obvious reasons, giving gifts on Christmas is not something that comes naturally to me.

Although Chanukah and Christmas both occur around the same time of year, they are each unique holidays with their own rituals, aesthetic beauty and spiritual relevance.

Growing up, we did receive and give presents during Hanukkah, but it was never in mass quantities that people seem to receive today.

Chanukkah card that I made this year with Yaffa’s art.

Consequently, this time of year is sometimes a struggle for me.

I do want to express my appreciation and gratitude to the people who help me, and create cheerfulness and comradery with the people I work with. But, I do not want to succumb to the conspicuous consumption and rampant materialism that I often see going on around me.

My solution is to create DIY gifts which are both personal and practical.

This year, I felt inspired to make DIY Detox Bath Salts.

It is surprisingly fast, easy, all natural and even relatively economical to make. The trick is to make a nice presentation to doll it up.

In the back of my mind, I wanted to give the bath salts in a urine cups and specimen bag and label this DIY Detox (not U-tox) Bath Salts. When I told the other nurses I work with about it, we all laughed.

This is the gift presentation that I did not make:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, I decided to play it safe and give the bath salts in a small mason jar with a nice label and a colorful ribbon.

Ingredients

2 parts salt: Epsom salt, Himalayan salt, Magnesium Chloride, Dead Sea Salt

½ part baking soda

Optional: ¼ part bentonite clay

Optional: ¼ – ½ part finely ground oatmeal.

Note: I would categorize the bentonite clay and oatmeal with the baking soda. Otherwise, it might not dissolve as well.

Optional: 20-30 drops essential oils of your choice.  I used lavender, which is my favorite!

Optional: food or soap coloring. I did not use any coloring.

Optional: Cinnamon, ginger or tumeric could also be used to give it some colour and additional therapeutic properties, but, I am not sure if they would dissolve properly. Then, you might have to wash out the tub, which is something that I do not find relaxing.

Instructions:

In a large bowl, mix to combine the salts and baking soda. Add essential oils and stir until well-blended.

The appearance of the Bath Salts can be changed by adding a few drops of food coloring to the salt mixture until you reach the desired shade you would like.

If anyone would like to make their own natural food dyes, here is a great link.

This recipe can be easily scaled up, which I did to make lots of gifts for everyone.

It is not very colourful, but here is the picture of the bath salts in the large jar I used to mix up everything in.

Without dye, the only colour came from the Himalayan salt.

I also added Silica Gel Packs to prevent the salts from sticking together. It really helped!

Here are the various ways I tried to present the gifts so that they seemed festive and personalized:

Overall, the gifts were very well received. Even the men I work with wanted some despite the fact that it smelled like lavender.  Next time, to make it more unisex, I might use patchouli oil.

I got very creative and below are various samples of labels one can use:

 

 

 

Happy Holidays everyone!

 

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2016/2017 TAG!

2016/2017 TAG!

Normally, I am too time challenged to respond to blogging awards. Fortunately, today is a national holiday, so I am home. This means, I have an opportunity to complete and respond promptly.

To all the people who have so graciously nominated me in the past, please forgive my tardiness. I am truly time challenged. I consider the very existence of this blog to be an open miracle.

Today, I was so touched to be tagged by My Lighthearted Kitchen from her blog, mylightheartedkitchen.com for the 2016/2017 Tag!

Please check out her lifestyle and cooking blog where she shares her recipes, thoughts and musings about being a vegan, life-loving human being!

Here is the link to her blog:

https://mylightheartedkitchen.com/2017/02/15/20162017-tag/

The questions, I am afraid are a little bit difficult. But, my rule is, “if I have to think too much about it, then I can’t do it.” So, I will answer the first thought that pops in my mind, and assume that it is the right answer.

The tag was created by David from The Guy Who Said Always No. I love the title of his blog. It shows a great sense of humor!

Please show your support and visit both of these wonderful blogs.

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Questions:

1. DESCRIBE YOUR 2016 IN 3 WORDS.

Time challenged, intense and full of change.

2. WRITE THE NAME OF 2 PEOPLE WHO HAVE CHARACTERIZED YOUR 2016.

There have been so many people who have been so generous and helpful this year. I could never limit it to only 2 people.

First of all, we moved. But, the neighbors from our old street were so wonderful and supportive. We miss everyone so much!

In particular, I must mention “The Mayor” of the block, whose kindness, warmth and caring are a source of inspiration. He, and his wife and children set a beautiful example for not only the block, but for anyone and everyone who has the privilege to be connected to them.

Secondly, my husband’s life was saved by 2 doctors in particular and many other people in the synagogue where we prayed. Are there ever enough words to acknowledge the miracle of a life saved?

Two more people who I feel so grateful towards are the youth group leaders at that synagogue, Marvin and Divsha. This wonderful couple were so caring and kind to both my daughters. They gave my girls a sense of place in this world that I so greatly appreciate and treasure.

All of these people and so many others have touched my heart this year. The wellspring of gratitude that I feel for all these people is ever-flowing and infinite.

3. WRITE ABOUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE YOU’VE VISITED IN 2016 AND WHY YOU LIKED IT SO MUCH.

I know that this answer is evading the question, but, every place is beautiful.  One of my greatest pleasures was to sit on my glider and watch the sun rise in the morning. Another great joy was to sit on our front porch swing and watch the people walk by, especially when it rained.

4. WRITE THE MOST DELICIOUS FOOD YOU’VE TASTED IN 2016.

Anything made by my mother and sister was completely awesome! My sister made a BBQ turkey that was truly memorable!

5. WRITE THE EVENT WHICH HAS MARKED YOU MORE OF THIS IN 2016 (EVEN GLOBAL EVENT).

On a personal level, moving was a very significant personal event. I am still adjusting and transitioning to the change.

On a national level, the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States was of great significance. It is a topic of conversation at work and throughout our society. We are all on a journey and it remains to be seen where all of this will lead.

Inspired by my patients, I pray for the success and ongoing strength of this new administration, this country and the world. May we all be blessed with peace, joy, good health and abundance.

6. WRITE THE FINEST PURCHASE YOU’VE MADE IN THIS 2016, AND IF YOU WANT, LINK A PHOTO.

 We bought a new house. That was a significant and huge undertaking! 

7. WRITE 3 GOOD INTENTIONS FOR THIS 2017. 

  • Meditate daily
  • Spend a set amount of time daily for self-care and relaxation. Blogging is included in this category
  • Pause before responding when aggravated or upset.
  • Learn how to use Facebook (OK, this was 4, but who is counting?

8. WRITE 1 PLACE YOU WANT TO VISIT IN 2017.

I love going home to Toronto and visiting with my mother and childhood friends.

9. WRITE 1 PLATE/FOOD YOU WANT TO EAT IN 2017. 

Hmmmm…. This is not so important to me. I would love to learn how to make soap (this is not edible) and make time to do more sewing.

The wonderful people I would like to tag are:  (I am afraid that I do not know how to make short links. Maybe I should make that another goal for 2017?)

Monica at One Way To Health — A budget friendly journey to a healthier and happier you.

https://onewaytohealth.com/

Ruta at Estonian Cuisine who blogs about easy and delicious Estonian food at https://estoniancuisine.com/

Elizabeth at the comfortable coop, who is so supportive and down to earth at https://thecomfortablecoop.wordpress.com/about/

Sugasuga and her blog Loaf Lusters, who writes about the adventures of a broke foodie at https://loaflusters.wordpress.com/

Kathryn at Another Foodie Blogger, who blogs on simple gourmet food at https://anotherfoodieblogger.wordpress.com/

Susie at SusieShy45 at https://susieshy45.wordpress.com/about-me/

Another blogger who writes on many of my favorite topics.

Jessica at Unmeasured Journey at https://unmeasuredjourneys.com/about-2/ Very thoughtful writing, and I love her blog name!

Bruce at sportsattitudes at https://sportsattitudes.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/at-the-center-of-it-all-america-hugs-it-out/#comment-4820  Bruce writes about sports and so much more. He is the only person who I know who can make sports sound interesting and meaningful to a non-sports person like me.

Sarah & Choppy at travelswithcoppy.com. I love her stories and her pictures! She has a wonderful sense of humor and pictures. https://travelswithchoppy.com/about/

Rules:

Thank you all for participating and reading this post! Please check out these blogs and show your support for our beautiful fellow bloggers.

May this year be a year of inspiration, creativity, and love.

Many blessings for peace,

Carol and family

 

 

 

Off Topic — Post Election Humor

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

This post is completely off topic, and it has been sitting in my draft box for the 3 weeks. As a rule, I try never to talk about politics.

But, before the topic of the recent American election becomes completely untimely, I wanted to share some post-election humor.

Everyone where I work, staff and patients, were shocked that Donald Trump won the presidency.  It was so unexpected! I have never seen such a strong response to an election result.

I had many interesting discussions with my patients on this topic. I work in geriatrics, and the wisdom of the aged is a joy to witness.  Their responses have been fascinating!

I wondered, “How is it possible that no one predicted that this would be the outcome?”

I believe that this lack of communication is due to the decline of civility in our society. Rather than talking WITH each other, people talk AT each other. Rather than communicating, people were too busy judging. Being right became more important that being loving.

kind-vs-right

 

If someone didn’t like Obama, you were branded a racist. If someone didn’t like Hillary Clinton, you were branded a sexist. If someone did like Trump, you were branded a racist too.

What this meant was that people stopped talking for fear of being branded a racist or a sexist. We were too closed minded to listen to others who had a different perspective. People became afraid to share how they were feeling and what they were thinking.

listen-to-heart

In the end, we all suffer. We lose the sacred art of listening. Fear, judgement and intolerance leads to isolation, loneliness and disconnection. So, when all else fails, I say, “laugh!”

humor

 

On voting day, there was a huge line. The voting clerks said that this election was one of the highest turnouts ever.

This is a picture of my friend Wendy, who got this sticker after we voted. The clerks were very nice and gave me 2, one for Yaffa and the other for Raizel.

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My friend Miriam sent me this picture. Since it has a food reference, I had to share it:

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Finally, another friend, Sarah sent me this. When I read it to my husband, he laughed out loud!

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I hope everyone enjoyed my post-election humor!  Happy Thanksgiving!

laugh-and-eat-chocolate

 

Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention: Fast & Easy DIY Facial Scrub & Deodorant

Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention: Fast & Easy DIY Facial Scrub & Deodorant

 

Necessity is truly the mother of invention. I am visiting my mother in Toronto now. I traveled by myself and left the girls home with my husband. Risqué, without a doubt.

But, no matter how old I get, going home to Mom, is going HOME. I packed my bag, and traveled very lightly. I figured any toiletry items that I might need would surely be available at Mom’s.

Well, times change.

I think that I am growing up, but I forget that my mother is growing old.


When I got here, I saw that she did not have any facial scrub. Why would she? She doesn’t use it.

And, Mom lives alone now. She has only one stick of deodorant. At this stage of the game, Mom is not too comfortable sharing.

So, I decided to make fast and easy DIY Facial Scrub & Deodorant.

Fast & Easy DIY Facial Scrub

Ingredients:

1-part sugar

1-part baking soda

1-part borax

Optional: by mistake, I added 1-part coarse salt (Kosher salt). It still worked.

Instructions:

Blend together and store in a covered jar. I used an empty pill bottle.

To use: pour into palm of your hand. Add enough water to desired consistency, and gently apply to face using small circular motions.

Rinse well.

When I came out of the shower, my skin felt very smooth. My mother has agreed to try it during her shower, and she will give me her personal opinion.

For fun I made this picture:


Fast & Easy DIY Deodorant

Ingredients:

1-part corn starch (any starch is good, but this is what was available.)

1-part baking soda

Instructions:

Blend together and store in a covered jar. I used an empty pill bottle.

To use: pour into palm of your hand, and apply as needed. It would have been nice to use a make up sponge, but, since I didn’t have one, I made do.

Just for fun, I made this picture as well:


Voila, fast and easy DIY beauty supplies. They are practically edible and no additives, preservatives or chemicals. Both look the same too: white. So, be sure to label the container so that you can tell them apart.

I was pleased with the outcome. Simple and easy, and I only used easily available ingredients.

Mom and I are cooking in the kitchen together now. It is so nice.

I am so happy that I could get away and spend some alone time with just her. I treasure these moments.

Enjoy!

 

Love In The Parsnip Patch

My husband is a confirmed carnivore. Normally, he eats vegetables because he has to, not because he wants to.

So, this evening, he surprised me. 

When I came home he said,”you won’t believe what I saw today. I found 2 romantic parsnips!”

Jay ruefully exclaimed, “I can’t believe what an influence you have. I am starting to actually notice vegetables!”

It was so funny, I had to take a picture of them:

I think it’s cute that when he saw 2 parsnips hugging each other, that he thought of me. 

I think perhaps he is the romantic one, not the parsnips.

Enjoy!

Sheva Brachot DIY Centerpieces & Set Up

Sheva Brachot are a time of celebration. The bride and groom are treated like a king and queen for the week. In their honor, it is customary to decorate the table and make it beautiful. 

I am time challenged. The drive for beauty needed to be tempered with a practical need for an easy clean up. 

The salads were made by my sister-in-laws. I didn’t know this, but the mother of the groom, my sister-in-law, Hana, loves to make salads. They were a work of art. I could taste the love!

   
 We bonded in the kitchen, while chopping vegetables and washing pots, and setting the table.

You can see how great and beautiful they were. 

To save time, we used store bought ranch and Caesar salad dressing. Raizel was very happy! They are her favorites.

In addition, my other sister in law also brought the wine. She and my husband are minor wine connoisseurs. So, her selections were perfect and well chosen.

For the tables, we used very fancy plastic tableware, tablecloths, runners and napkin holders. I was very pleased with the results:

  

For such a special events, many people make beautiful and often creative centerpieces. I was very excited with the centerpieces I made:

  

In general, I have a set of mirrors, bud vases, silk flowers and colored stones that I use for special occasions. This time, I thought I would try something different.

I took the mirrors and using a glue stick, put glue over them. Then, I put silver glitter over glued mirrors and let them dry.

  

After that, I put a heart shaped candle holder and a tea light in the center for the final effect. 

The tablecloths, plates and napkin rings were also silver, so everything matched.

To make it a little more brighter and more festive, I put flowers on the table too.

When the ShevaBrachot were over, I simply washed the glitter off the mirrors. Despite my husband’s concerns, there was very little mess.

Simple, fast and easy with a touch of elegance!
 

Mazel tov!🎉

Sheva Brachot

Sheva Brachot


Last week we hosted Sheva Brachot in our home for my husband’s nephew and his new bride. It was a wonderful and joyous occasion.

I very much want to share all my recipes from the event, but, I think that I need to spend a few minutes explaining what Sheva Brachot are.

Trying to explain this has become a bit of a challenge. I humbly submit that my area of expertise is in preparing kosher food, not on the finer points of Judaism. So, I am going to use my own words to explain Sheva Brachot and then include references at the end of this post for anyone who might be interested in learning more about the Jewish wedding ceremony and its traditions.

So, here is some background:

Eating is considered a holy act. Whenever we eat, we always say a blessing before and after.

Bread is particularly holy, and before eating bread, we wash our hands, say a special blessing and then say a blessing over the bread.

After eating a meal that includes bread, Grace After Meals (Birkat Hamazon) is recited.

After reciting the Grace After Meals, in the presence of 3 people, a cup of wine is used and an additional blessing is also said. This cup of wine is called a “Cup of Blessing” or “Kos Shel Bracha.”

A minyan is a prayer quorum of ten men over the age of 13 required for traditional Jewish public worship.

The week following a wedding is known as the week of the Sheva Brachot.

During this period, the seven blessings that were recited under the marriage canopy (chupah) are repeated after each meal attended by the newly married couple that is attended by a minyan (a prayer quorum of 10 men). The minyan also must consist of a person who was not at the wedding or present at the couple’s earlier meals.


Following the completion of the meal, a cup of wine is used to lead the Grace After Meals. The seven blessings that were recited under the marriage canopy are repeated.

People are honored with reciting each of the first six blessings.

Then, the person who led Grace After Meals recites the seventh blessing over the first cup of wine and a second cup of wine is filled.


The 2 cups of wine are then poured together into a third cup.


 One cup of wine is given to the bride, and another to the groom. The third cup is then shared by the community.

I have seen it done where the cups of wine are 2 different colors which are then mixed together to become unified.

The symbolism of this ritual is very beautiful. It symbolizes the bride and groom joining together and entering the larger community with a new identity as a married couple .

I will post some of the recipes following this post.

Thank you for reading!

References:
A-Guide-to-the-Jewish-Wedding

Celebrating a Jewish Wedding II

Grace After Meals Chabad

weddingguide

wedding

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