Monday, December 18, 2017

Caldrea Housecleaning Aromatherapy Review

Perhaps “aromatherapy” and housekeeping may seem like an oxymoron. However, a calm life does in fact feature a clean home -- at least for me. Initially, I had intended to integrate Caldrea Aromatherapy into a home organizational article. But, this Minnesota-based brand deserves a stand-alone review. Caldrea is an aromatherapeutic company, which strives to produce eco-friendly, cruelty-free and effective products for you and your home. The brand’s philosophy is fairly spot-on with my own in that Caldrea believes that luxurious living is elegance, sophistication and natural goodness.

I was fortunate to receive Caldrea’s Variety Sample Set ($75) from my neighbor, which includes everything that one would need to clean their home … in luxurious style. Packaged in Caldrea’s Galvanized Bucket, the sampler set features Basil Blue Sage All Purpose Cleaner; Ginger Pomelo Dish Soap; Sea Salt Neroli Delicate Wash; Mandarin Vetiver Hand Soap; Rosewater Driftwood Countertop Spray; and Black Coriander Lime Linen and Room Spray.

My first impression of Caldrea’s Variety Sample Set was that it would make the perfect housewarming gift. Being one who has moved a few times, I can assure you that a house is not a home until I’ve cleaned it, and furthermore, after the stress of moving, Caldrea’s aromatherapeutic cleaning products would be a very welcome offering.

Caldrea Variety Sample Set:

  • Basil Blue Sage No 14 All Purpose Cleaner (available in 7 fragrances) is highly concentrated and we used this throughout our home. Plant-derived surfactants and natural Birch Bark extract provide potency and the delicious scent provides an overall sense of well-being.
  • Ginger Pomelo Dish Soap No 15 (available in 10 fragrances) is rich, concentrated, fragrant and effective. In our home, washing dishes in akin to root canal. We would rather clean the bathroom with our toothbrush than wash dishes and the disdain for this household chore is for another article. However, we did find ourselves actually relaxing while using the Ginger Pomelo Dish Soap. Caldrea Dish Soap contains natural degreaser Soap Bark extract for tough pans and Aloe Vera for soft hands.
  • Sea Salt Neroli Delicate Wash No 17 is designed to launder delicates such as lingerie. Gentle plant surfactants and essential oils leave delicates clean and luxuriously scented. We actually enjoyed the scent so thoroughly, that we used Sea Salt Neroli Delicate Wash on a load of “regular” washables.
  • Mandarin Vetiver Hand Soap No 19 (available in 10 fragrances) Caldrea Mandarin Vetiver Hand Soap leaves hands soft, clean and fragrant as the bottle brightens kitchen or bath. Aloe Vera Gel, Olive Oil and essential oils cleanse and condition.
  • Rosewater Driftwood Countertop Spray No 21 (available in 10 fragrances) is a simple act that instantly refreshes home and mind. Easy and hard working, this quick spray uses a special vegetable protein extract to make odors vanish from kitchen or bath. We were a bit adventurous and used the Countertop Spray on our mirrors. We were thrilled to find that this heavenly scented product cleans glass mirrors without leaving any streaks.
  • Black Coriander Lime Linen and Room Spray No 22 ($10 - available in 7 fragrances) freshens a room with a sublime scent. This multi-use spray can be used on clothing, curtains, linens … you get the picture. This versatile essential oil spray is safely used to create a signature scent everywhere or anywhere.

Caldrea does not use parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, ammonia, chlorine bleach, phosphates or petroleum distillates. All products are biodegradable and Caldrea is Leaping Bunny certified. Caldrea creates divine scents and helps to create calming spaces throughout the home. Caldrea products may be purchased on the brand’s website and select retail locations.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

DIY Lip Scrub Recipe and Peppermint Essential Oil Review

I am still learning about essential oils, but one thing that I know is quality. As for the benefits of peppermint oil, there are quite a few such as relief for indigestive issues and IBS. But, for this review I opted to use Peppermint Essential Oil by Simply Earth for a DIY Lip Scrub.

Peppermint Essential Oil by Simply Earth Features:
  • 100% Pure
  • Non-Toxic
  • No Additives
  • Unfiltered and Undiluted with No Fillers
  • 13% of Profits are donated
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee

Pop Culture Shock Peppermint Lip Scrub
3 drops of Essential Peppermint Oil
1 Teaspoon Organic Coconut Oil
1 Teaspoon Organic Honey
1 1/2 Teaspoon Raw Sugar

Combine all ingredients and put in a small jar. This makes a great stocking stuffer and only takes about 5 minutes to make!

Beyond the high quality of the peppermint essential oil, Simply Earth is committed to giving back. Currently, Simply Earth is donating 13% of its profits to organization that support victims of Human Trafficking. With average age of victims being 13, that 13% is a symbolic reminder. Peppermint Essential Oil by Simply Earth lists for $10.00 for 15ml and it currently on sale at Amazon for $4.99.

DIY Vanilla Lip Balm and Honey Lip Scrub Recipes

As much as I’m a consumer, I’m equally a DIY gal. Now that the weather is getting much cooler, I thought that I’d share two of my favorite DIY Lip Balm and Lip Scrub recipes. Along with the cooler weather serving for inspiration, I happen to score 25 - 10 gram Clear Plastic Jars Cosmetic Containers from Estilo … booya!

First, let’s start with a quick review of the Cosmetic Containers from Estilo. The jars have a 10-gram capacity with dimensions of 1.48 inches diameter by .75 inches high. They are made of quality Polystyrene and are perfect for things like acrylic powders, eyeshadow, travel and of course … DIY projects like the ones I’m sharing with you!

Homemade Vanilla Lip Balm

Ingredients: (This recipe makes enough lip balm for six containers)
1/8 cup Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Beeswax
1/8 cup Shea Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Sweet Almond Oil

Put all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and heat on low until everything is melted. Let cool for about 10 minuets. Pour into containers. Let cool completely, which takes about two hours and they’re ready to use!

Honey Lip Scrub

Ingredients: (This recipes makes enough lip scrub for one container)
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp White Sugar
1 tsp Honey
½ tsp Olive Oil

Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly and place in container! To use, apply the scrub to your lips and gently massage for about 30 seconds. Rinse off and ta-da … beautifully smooth lips!

25 - 10 gram Clear Plastic Jars Cosmetic Containers from Estilo are available on Amazon. So, go buy some, whip up a few batches of my lip balm and lip scrub and you’ll have the perfect stocking stuffers!

What Are You Drinking This Holiday Season?

The holiday season is here, and again, I’ve scored amazing cocktail recipes especially for Pop Culture Shock readers. Oh, before you start thinking that I’ve become a cocktail blog, rest assured that I have not! It’s just that we do a lot of entertaining this time of year and I like to have unique and inspired libations for my guests. The recipes range from keeping you and your family and friends warm from the dropping temperatures to keeping everyone festive yet refreshed.

Reyka Spiced Cran Mule
  • 2 parts Reyka Vodka
  • 1 part Spiced Cranberry syrup
  • 3 parts dry ginger beer
  • Combine ingredients. Shake and strain top champagne

Cranberry syrup - ½ cup Demerara sugar, 1 cup water, 12 whole allspice berries, 12 whole cloves, Zest of 1 orange, 1 inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and chopped), 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 cups fresh cranberries

Combine all ingredients over heat except cranberries and stir until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries and bring to a boil... let boil until cranberries burst (about 3 min). Remove from heat and let sit for an hour. Strain through fine mesh strainer.

Cranberry Sauce Gin & Tonic – Jimmy at the James
  • 2 parts Botanist Gin
  • ½ part simple syrup
  • ½ of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 heaping barspoon cranberry sauce
  • Q Tonic
  • Lemon Wheel

In a cocktail shaker combine the gin, simple syrup, lemon juice and cranberry sauce. Shake with ice for about ten seconds and then strain into a tall glass with ice. Stir in tonic water and garnish with a lemon wheel.

Sailor Jerry Mulled Cider
  • 1 Part Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
  • 3 Parts Mulled Cider
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves

Heat Sailor Jerry and slowly add cider and desired spices. Stir and let cool before serving.

Green Rabbit – by Proof
  • 3 parts Homemade Melon Milk
  • ½ part Ancho Verde
  • ¾ part  Hendrick’s Gin

Combine ingredients and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in a wine glass. Garnish with pineapple mint and serve with a straw

Drambuie’s Mulled Wine
  • 8 parts Drambuie
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) Red Wine-Suggest Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2 parts Honey
  • 1 Spearmint-Peppermint Tea Bag
  • Peel of ½ Grapefruit
  • Peel of 1 Orange
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Grated Ginger
  • ½ tsp Whole Juniper Berries
  • ½ tsp Whole Allspice Berries
  • ½ tsp Whole Peppercorns

With a mortar and pestle grind the berries and pepper corns and add to a sauce pan. Add all other ingredients to the sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute. Strain and serve. If not hot enough, bring back to a simmer. Serve hot.

Ponche Primavera (pitcher)
  • 12 ½ parts Montelobos Mezcal
  • 7 ½ parts Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
  • 5 parts lime juice
  • 5 parts lemon juice
  • 15 parts sweetened agua de Jamaica (Mexican hibiscus tea water, can be found in most supermarkets)
  • 1 part Oleo Saccharum (an oil made from mixing citrus peels with sugar)

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and mix together.  To keep chilled, freeze a large ice block the night before by double boiling water and using a large casserole dish. Add edible flowers to the water before it freezes (optional). Let ice block rest in punch bowl throughout the gathering. Build ingredients into a glass mug

Hudson Hot Toddy
  • Add to a mug or Irish Coffee glass:
  • 2oz Hudson Manhattan Rye
  • .75oz fresh lemon juice
  • Heaping teaspoon good, local honey
  • 4oz very hot water
  • -OR- substitute a preferred brewed tea or mild/diluted cider for the amount water required.

Optional but recommended: dash or two of aromatic bitters
Stir to blend and dissolve honey. Add a star anise and a lemon slice studded with cloves for extra aromatics.

 Remember - Please Drink Responsibly! 

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