Homemade Almond Milk

I LOVE MAKING MY OWN ALMOND MILK. Yes, I had to write that in caps, because who knew it could be so easy to do? Seriously much more healthier since boxed almond milk always have additional added ingredients that does not need to be in your almond milk! The first time I tried, I had quite a malfunction – I tried it with a cheesecloth…and it was messy. The cheese cloth kept tearing up on me and the little ground almonds kept getting into my milk when I didn’t want that to happen. So, I went back to buying boxed almond milk for another month until I moved back home for the summer and tried making it again using a strainer instead. BEST. TOOL. EVER. Made the job less stressful!

I usually sweeten mine, but you can easily just take out the last two ingredients to make it simple, unsweetened almond milk. 

Here’s a simple and easy recipe to make your own almond milk.

1 cup of almonds
3-4 cups of water
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1-2 medjool dates (remember to take out the seed beforehand!)

 

1. Soak 1 cup of almonds overnight or for 8-10 hours.

2. Drain the water from the soaked almonds. Pour the almonds into a blender. 

3. Add 3-4 cups of water.

4. Blend! Blend! Blend! Blend until the water becomes a milky colour and the almonds are all grounded up.

5. Add the vanilla extract and medjool date(s).

6. Blend for another few minutes, so everything is well incorporated. 

7. Get a big bowl and pour the mixture through the strainer (my strainer is very small, so I have to separate the straining into three different batches). Once you strain everything, there will be tons of almond grounds – using a fork/spoon, push the almond ground to make sure you get every last drop of the milk through the strainer.

8. Once you strained the whole amount, your amount milk is now complete! Pour it into a cup, a container, and enjoy.

I usually keep my almond milk in the fridge for no longer than one week – which isn’t a problem, since I drink it daily. 

My parents usually get almonds in bulk, so making your almond milk is much more cost effective and cheaper than regularly purchasing store-bought, boxed almond milk.

I hope you enjoy this simple DIY!

<3

Susan 

What Cleans My Face?

Since my makeup days are over, I’ve been hoarding and trying new skincare products all the time. With extensive research, I really found myself interested in seeking for natural and organic skincare lines that have ingredients that I can identify myself. My first skincare routine post on this blog received a lot of love, so I decided to share a series of posts of what I’m currently using. Here are the cleansers that I’ve been loving recently:

Morning: Skin Essence Organics Fresh Facial Cleanser

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This was the first facial wash that I ever tried that is oil based. It includes coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and castor oil. What I really love about this cleanser is the scent – peppermint and lemongrass are such an energizing combination; the scent that is perfect for early mornings to help wake you up. I usually apply this straight to my dry face, massaging it all over my face (the vegetable glycerin base makes the product look very white on dry skin), and then I slowly incorporate some water to create a lather on my face before wiping everything off. This cleanser doesn’t just wake me up in the morning, it really wakes my skin up, making it look and feel brighter, cleaner, and healthier. 

 

EveningProvince Apothecary Moisturizing Cleanser

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This is a sample I got from the owner. It’s really similar to the concept of the oil cleansing method, as the main ingredients to this facial wash are sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil. The difference between this facial wash and the oil cleansing method is the other great nourishing ingredients that it has – such as vitamin e and essential oils. It’s extremely gentle and very moisturizing for my dehydrated skin. I usually apply 2-3 pumps of the cleanser straight to my dry face, taking a few moments to really rub it all over my face. Then, I would take a hot damp face towel to drape it over my face as a “steam” to open up my pores to really allow the oil to sink in. After about 30 seconds, I’ll slowly wipe off the cleanser. A big plus is the scent – very light and relaxing…perfect for ending your day! 

 

TravelConsonant Organic Foaming Face Wash

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This cleanser is great for all skin types. A foaming cleanser that will not strip away your skin’s natural oils. In fact, it does a great job at cleaning your skin from environmental factors and fighting blemishes, as well as rehydrating your skin with Grape Seed Oil. I visit my boyfriend every couple of weeks and this have been in my toiletry bag every time I pack up. It’s in a plastic bottle, so it’s super light and I don’t have to worry about the container potentially shattering and spilling all over my bag. Also, it’s easy to use – the foam makes it extremely easy to rub over my face and wipe off with water and hands. Overall, a great cleanser that will not throw off my skin, even if I only use it for a few washes when I’m on the go. 

All three of these brands are based in Toronto – local and organic! Just what I love! The oil-based cleansers are great for keeping moisture in my skin; the last thing I need in a skincare cleanser is for it to be oil striping. This whole combination is helping my skin cope with my diet change and environment change as I settle back home. Have been making my skin feel and look great – a big plus for going bare face everyday. Definitely cleansers that I will be repurchasing and recommending to others. 

<3

Susan 

Easy-Chia Raspberry Jam

Just as I said in my new years resolution, I’m trying my best at eating healthier and changing my food habits. I’ve made tons of changes this year so far, but I know this summer would be an easier time for me to explore recipes and options.

Just the other day, my boyfriend’s grandma made a loaf kind of cake and I knew a jam would be perfect to go along with it. I remember seeing other articles on chia jam, but this is one quick one I assembled myself in the kitchen the other day.

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Homemade Raspberry Chia Jam

1 Cup of Raspberries, Fresh or Frozen (make sure it’s thawed!)

1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds

1-2 Tablespoon of Honey

 

In a small bowl, using a fork, mash up the raspberries.

Add the chia seeds and mix well. 

Mix in the honey. Some berries, especially frozen, tend to be quite sour and depending on individual preferences, the amount of honey will differ among everyone. 

Tasty and healthy raspberry chia seed jam. Can leave in your fridge for the week.

Enjoy!

<3

Susan

 

Morning Ritual with Lemons

After my whole face breakout ordeal, I’ve done tons of research and really got myself into a more healthy approach with my food decision. Let’s be honest – I eat a lot for my size and giving up food is not an option. I will and can eat anything and everything my heart desires. But, I’ve been really looking into a more holistic skincare and health approach; and finding ways to slowly incorporate it into my lifestyle.

I started drinking warm lemon water right after I wake up in the summer, but I was not consistent with it. One week, I’ll be drinking it every morning, and then the next, I’ll be forgetting. But, since the  New Year, I’ve been more consistent with this habit. The only times I find myself missing this is when I wake up slightly later and have to run out the house as quickly as possible. 

The reason why I jumped on this bandwagon was when I heard about the list of benefits that this morning drink does:

  • Improves your digestion – I used to have the most sensitive stomach ever; it runs in my family. But, since drinking this in the morning, I’ve had less stomach upsets and cramps! Definitely helping my food go through my digestive system a lot smoother and quicker.
  • Boosts your colon function and prevents constipation – The one thing I instantly noticed right from the start…I’ll be running to the bathroom right after downing the mug of this lemon water. It helps promote your intestines to get things moving and to clear it all out. In the long run, there will be less food build up around your intestines, which results in removing all the nasty toxins and improving better nutrient absorption. 
  • Boosts your mood and energy 
  • Helps clear up your skin - This one was a big one! With all the acne scars on my cheeks, I know I can’t completely get rid of it, but I know I can help it fade away.

Of course, there are tons of other reasons for this amazing morning drink; but, this is just a minor list of things I realized and noticed. Now, it’s been about 3 months that I’ve been doing this and I’ve noticed the small changes it’s done to my body. This is not a miracle product or anything, but it’s not that hard to do and commit to.

I only recently started adding a little honey to the drink to change it up a bit. The lemon sourness was starting to get to me. Also, make sure the water isn’t too hot – this will kill a lot of the good nutrients from the lemon and honey!

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Warm Lemon Water with Honey 

A cup/mug of warm water

Half of a lemon

1 teaspoon of organic honey (I tend to eyeball it now)

Squeeze half of your lemon into the mug and add the honey. Give it a quick stir to make sure it is well-incorporated. 

It’s really that easy. Give it 30 days and you’ll start reflecting on the difference. 

<3

Susan 

 

 

Sunday Face Masks

I’ve been getting into face masks the last several months…and I’m addicted. 

My skin is dry, sensitive, and acne-prone. It’s like my skin comes as a full package of a little bit of everything. I love layering masks to meet my skin needs.

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Before any face masks, I always exfoliate my skin. I’ve been using REN Jojoba Microbead Purifying Facial Polish. This scrub is so gentle for your face that it’s perfect to use before layering face masks. Unfortunately, this mask is no longer sold by REN Skincare – I picked up this product over the summer at a local store in Toronto. 

My T-zone is extremely congested ALL THE TIME. I have yet to find a permanent solution to the problem, but I’ve recently got the REN Invisible Pore Detox Mask to help keep it under control. I haven’t used it long enough to take my stand for this product, but REN claims that it’s suppose to draw out impurities and reduce the appearance of your pores. Will definitely do an update blogpost for this mask. 

After, the heavy-duty mask, my skin needs to be re-hydrated. The Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask was a love at first sight mask. I got this back in September and it’s finally reaching the end. It’s been loved and shared with my housemates as well. The manuka honey is very hydrating and provides a great deal of antioxidising effects for those stubborn blemishes. A perfect, relaxing all-around mask to have on. Plus, it smells amazing!

Once I’m done with the masks, I just apply toner, serum, and moisturizer! 

Do any of you have a Sunday Ritual to end your week? 

<3

Susan

Green Gold – Homemade Matcha Latte

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So, it’s true. There’s always snow in Canada…just kidding. But, really – last Tuesday we got our first taste of spring when the weather warmed up to 8 degrees C! The sun is what really needed to cheer me up. But, I went to bed…and the next morning, I woke up to 15cm of snow on the ground and -15 degree C weather. WAIT…so what just happened there? Well, today is snowing again, so I guess spring will never come? 

With all this chilly weather, all I keep thinking about are warm drinks and cuddles. So, this is a old photo that I never got around blogging the recipe, but it’s the tasty and easy homemade matcha latte! A little green for St. Patty’s Day (sorry, no alcohol involved with this recipe…but I’m sure you can splash some Bailey’s in it and it’ll still be good!)

Tealish Tea Shop is a little independent tea shop in downtown Toronto. Offering a variety of different teas, they also sell three different types of latte mixes. These latte mixes are so versatile – I reallllly like baking with these!

Easy Homemade Matcha Latte

  • 1 cup of milk (Can be almond, soy, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon of matcha latte mix
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract (optional)

Heat up your milk with a saucepan.

Once the milk starts to bubble up, remove it off the heat and let it cool down just a bit (just so the milk isn’t scaling hot).

Add one tablespoon of matcha latte mix and using a whisk (or a fork), make sure it is well-incorporated and “melted”with your milk. 

Once it’s all dissolved, add a teaspoon of either vanilla or almond extract to give it an extra flavour. Of course, if you use vanilla soy milk for example, you can skip this step.

Pour it into a mug (your favourite mug to make this drink extra special).

And sip away!

I hope you all have a safe St. Patty’s Day!

<3 

Susan

Fall Skincare Routine

I FINALLY have the lowdown of my skincare regime. Bumpy, literally, months for my face and tons of problems, but it’s slowly calming down. I am still breaking out due to other factors, but my skin is DRY-SKIN no more…I hope. 

Costed me an arm and a leg, plus tons of research, time, help, and trials – I am finally happy with what I am doing now. 
 
A majority of the help goes to the awesome aestheticians at Pure + Simple Spa – who are loaded with information and guidance! I have completely hopped on the boat for natural skincare…and it feels AMAZING to know that I’m doing some good to myself daily. 
 
So, sit down and read on…this will be a long one!
 
 
I absolutely LOVED the cleansing gel, but they stopped selling it at Sephora. So, pretty much, when I ran out…I got desperate and settled with the Foaming Cleanser. But, lucky me, I went into a boutique and they were selling REN products – I was able to be reunited with the cleansing gel! Since I got both, I’m using both – they are made with more or less the same ingredients, so it won’t make my skin react to it dramatically as I hop around the two. I leave the foaming cleanser at my boyfriend’s house, so I don’t have to carry around my huge face ritual every time I spend the weekend there.
 
I tend to apply the face wash around my dry face first and then slowly incorporate a little water before I wash it completely off. 
 
 
You may have read an old post from me about toners. I only incorporated a toner into my skincare routine less than a year ago and now, I love it! This toner is great, because it’s all natural (of course!) and it does not contain any alcohol which would dry out my skin. The smell will be a hit and miss for everyone, but I love the smell of this…I must say, it’s a really relaxing type of smell or something. I use 2-3 pumps each time, rub it all over my hand, and then I press it in around my face. 
 
 
This have recently been incorporated into my skincare routine the last month. But, I really see a difference in hydration with my skin from using this. One pump is more than enough for my skin and it helps reduce the tightness feel that I used to have with my dry skin.  
 
Martina Gebhardt Black Mud Facial Lotion ($54.95 CDN) + Jojoba Oil 
 
My skin is dehydrated with few breakouts happening here and there – but, when I breakout, they are huge ones. This lotion is perfect in balancing you out – it gives you an adequate amount of hydration, while helping to clear out the acne. This was the perfect moisturizer that I needed over the summer, but when fall started to settle in, I needed more hydration. Adding a drop of jojoba oil and one pump of this lotion together is a miracle worker on my skin. It makes my skin super soft and I couldn’t ask for anything better than this. 
 
 
I’m still on the hunt for a new eye cream. Lately, from PMS-ing and stress, my under eye area have been extremely puffy and dark. This eye cream doesn’t take it away, but it does help in brightening up the area just a tad bit. Since you don’t need a lot, I can see this tiny tub lasting me quite sometime. I only use this in the morning. 
 
So, with tons of research for a hydrating eye cream for the night – I have my eyes on the Origins EyeDoctor, Just Pure Hydrating Eye Cream, or Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
 
So, this is it! I really have a love for skincare and believe makeup won’t do anything if you don’t have a proper base for it. Absolutely believe it is worth investing in a good and natural skincare routine – people do tend to forget that your skin is the largest organ and what you put on it gets absorbed into your body. 
 
Very happy with this routine and as much as I hope I don’t have to change routines again, new products have come in and out as I have a serious addiction of trying new things.
 
I hope y’all all enjoy this lengthy post!
 
-Susan
 
P.S. Tell me what your skincare routine is! Share in the comments below or e-mail them to me!