Unrefined shea butter is always best, but isn't easy to work with as is. Here's my guide to melting shea butter to maintain its goodness, but none of its grit.
Travel the World Without Leaving Your Zip Code with GlobeIn Artisan Boxes! One of my favorite pastimes as a traveler is scouring central markets and bazaars for trinkets and treasures to bring home.
I enter without agenda and follow my senses, tasting, trying, until I've found the perfect meal or little mementos to bring back home, mementos, vivid in taste or color that remind me of the places I've visited.
With two boys under the age of four, my globe trotting days (though not behind me) are on a bit of a necessary hiatus. Even though I spend the majority of my time in Brooklyn, my wanderlust is still so very alive and well, which is why I am so utterly in love with GlobeIn!
Please note, I am in no way whatsoever getting compensated in the form of gifts or money for this post, I am merely endorsing a product that I am over the moon about.
GlobeIn, brings the world's central markets and bazaars to my Brooklyn doorstep.
Here's how they do it. GlobeIn creates unique artisan boxes of rare and unique finds from around the world. All of the items are healthy (if food), fair trade, and sustainably harvested. The boxes, which are in actuality not boxes but colorful woven palm leaf baskets from Mexico, all have themes such as cooking, entertaining, or bake and arrive once a month.
It's like receiving an awesome souvenir present from your world traveling alter-ego once a month, fresh from...Ghana, or the Philippines, or India, or Palestine- the sky is the limit.
GlobeIn subscriptions are easy and pretty inexpensive. You can opt for three or six month subscriptions or a year long subscription, either way, it's so much fun. GlobeIn Artisan Boxes make a fun gift for the traveling soul in your life, or for yourself if you, like me, have wanderlust up the wazoo!
In my most recent box, here's what I got...
Colorful Coasters from Ghana (now I have to throw a party!)
Sun-dried Tomato Caper Spread from Palestine (back into the kitchen to make something awesome for this party that I must throw!)
Tea Time Bunting from India (must have the hubby instal those new outdoor lights from which I will hang the colorful bunting, for the party, that I absolutely must throw, very, very soon!)
All of which came tucked lovingly inside my beautiful palm leaf basket from Mexico. These baskets are so adorable and provide great storage for, say, baby socks (mine are everywhere), hair things, toy dinosaurs and cars, your husband's shaving gear (shove it in a box, put it in a corner and ta-da, you don't have to look at it), the list goes on...
So...how can you start your subscription?
Simply visit www.globein.com/box
Psssst... If you enter BESTFRIEND at checkout, you'll get $20.00 off your subscription!
I am so grateful to the visionary folks at GlobeIn. They've created a way for me to explore the world, appreciate different tastes and experience beautiful handcrafted treasures without leaving the borough of Brooklyn- amazing!
*This is a review post. All opinions are my own. Recently, I received a review sample of Frownies Immune Perfect Continuous Active Hydration Cream.
As a person who prefers to use all-natural, organic products on my skin, I was really excited as the product is marketed as all-natural. After spotting ingredients such as cyclomethicone, phenyl trimethicone and phenoxyethanol, I decided to do some research to see what these ingredients were. They were definitely not all-natural, however the chemical complexes used in Frownies tend to be a lot less irritating and milder than oh, say, parabens and other chemical compounds that could potentially be used.
I gave Frownies a try.
Here's what I liked: Frownies is a light weight and silky cream. My face and decollette felt hydrated and light. Frownies had a natural aesthetic. The cream is brown and is fragrance free with a slight hint of earthy/chocolaty notes. Overall, my face felt great. The cream was definitely intensly moisturizing in a non-irritating way.
Here's what I didn't like as much: Frownies left my skin feeling slightly sticky. The cream was very moisturizing, but had a sticky residue that I noticed whenever I touched my face.
Overall, Frownies is a great product if you're looking for continuous active hydration. My face was wonderfully hydrated. The slightly sticky feel of my skin was something I could easily overlook. What I personally couldn't overlook was the presence of the chemical compounds cyclomethicone, phenyl trimethicone and phenoxyethanol. If you are not a person who requires organic skin care however, Frownies presents a wonderful solution to dry aging skin.
Disclaimer: This is a review. I received a free product in exchange for an honest write-up. All opinions expressed are genuinely mine. Not so long ago, I received several cans of diced tomatoes and a recipe book from Redpack Tomatoes. The company is promoting the use of their diced tomatoes in summer salads and asked me to give a recipe a try.
So there I was, at home, with several 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes- what to do, what to do? I've never actually cooked with canned tomatoes before. I have always been a fresh heirloom and cherry tomato girl.
After staring at the cans for a week, my sister in Albany, sent over an amazing recipe for creamy tomato soup with tarragon. I cracked open my first can with enthusiasm and made my first tomato soup from scratch (ish). It was met with rave reviews from my husband and two year old.
I was ready to tackle another can. The next recipe for bruschetta style pizza came from my friend Elise, in D.C. When I saw that this pizza called for diced tomatoes and not tomato sauce, I was excited to dive in. The pizza was a winner! The diced tomatoes were a perfect compliment to the medley of vegetables and provided a nice burst of tomato flavor in lieu of the more intense flavor of sauce.
Canned tomatoes, not too shabby I conceded.
Finally, I opened up the cookbook Redpack sent and decided to attempt to make one of their summer salads, a mango chicken salad, minus the chicken (I wasn't in a meat mood). Aside from leaving out the grilled chicken, I followed the recipe exactly. Overall, the salad was good, but I truthfully must admit, it wasn't the same with canned tomatoes.
The canned tomatoes worked well in warm recipes, but in the salad recipe, alongside a host of fresh ingredients, the canned diced tomatoes didn't really do it for me. I'm definitely going to use fresh tomatoes on my next salad.
I will however, buy Redpack's diced tomatoes in the future when I'm ready to pull out my new creamy tomato soup with tarragon recipe or my bruschetta style pizza recipe.
Have you ever tried canned tomatoes in a summer salad?
UPDATE: Congrats to Dramamamafive! It's Friday, it's the end of June, Summer is officially here, it's giveaway time!
I haven't held a giveaway in a while, so I'll make this one light, seasonal and fun.
I'm giving away a luscious 4 oz. bottle of Organic Mosquito Repel Whipped Butter from my newly re-named line Sojourn. Herbal Apothecary.
Whether you're getting ready for a tropical summer vacation, preparing for your annual camping trip, or are trying to protect the kids without using heavy chemicals while they play in the back-yard, the Organic Mosquito Repel Whipped Butter is a light, organic, herbal alternative to chemical bug sprays. Safe for babies and people with sensitive skin, the whipped butter moisturizes skin, has a light citrus and lavender scent and will keep pesky mosquitoes at bay.
Here's how you can enter to win a free 4 oz. jar:
1. Visit my blog- Sojourner's Sojourns
2. Enter your email address to subscribe to weekly updates which include travel tips and inspiration, DIY herbal remedies, and valuable wellness tips.
3. Once you've subscribed, you'll automatically be entered to win! A winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, June 29th and will be notified via the email address provided.
That's all folks!
Let the summer giveaway fun begin :)
Here's where you can find the additional Sojourner's Sojourns pieces:
- In June, I was featured on Tracey Friley's travel blog One Brown Girl in her Travelanthropy series. You can view the piece at http://www.1browngirl.blogspot.com/2013/05/travelanthropy-people-who-travel-good_28.html
- On July 26th, I was featured as the "Curious Traveler of the Week" on Andrea Meuller's travel blog Curious Around the World. You can view the piece at http://www.curiousaroundtheworld.com/sojourners-sojourns-curious-traveler-of-the-week/
- Today, a piece I wrote about teaching abroad will be re-published on the site Mission.tv. You can view the piece at http://mission.tv/blog/2013/8/
I can't wait to see where the wind blows next!
Happy Travels and Blessings,
Congrats to F. Owens of NYC! Thanks everyone for entering. More contests and giveaways to come :)
Dear Readers, Thank you so much for voting and supporting Sojourner's Sojourns. It has just been announced, Sojourner's Sojourns has been voted Best Travel Blog by the Black Weblog Awards. Woot woot! A million thanks :)
Dear Readers, Thanks so much for your support. After I was nominated as a semi-finalist for the Black Weblog Awards best Travel Blog, you guys rallied behind me and voted me all the way to the finals. I am so appreciative and excited.
It's down to five blogs and I'm asking for you to show your support for Sojourner's Sojourns once more.
The finalist ballot will be open until October 23rd. Please take a moment to vote :)
How do I vote?
It's easy, just follow these steps:
1) Visit www.blackweblogawards.com (or you can scroll down and click the blue button in the second column of this blog)
2) Click the red Vote Now sign
3) Scroll down to the Travel Blog section and nominate Sojourner's Sojourns
4) Press Send and voila. You have my sincerest thanks :)
Have a great week and keep your eyes out for my next giveaway (some goodies from Alaska)!
Dear Readers, I've got exciting news. Sojourner's Sojourns was recently nominated "Best Travel Blog" in the Black Weblog Awards.
While the nomination makes me smile, winning will make me smile, dance, and sing.
Voting begins today and runs through October 1st.
Please take a moment, to vote for Sojourner's Sojourns. It's super easy. You can click on the Black Weblog Awards button on my page, or you can go to www.blackweblogawards.com. Click "vote here," scroll down to the Travel Blog category, and voila!
Thanks so much for reading, supporting, and voting!
Good Morning Readers, As I type this post, my bangles, three in total, wooden and carved, prized purchases from a bazaar in Zanzibar tap against my keyboard.
I have just finished packaging the little Mayan Sorrow Doll to send off to the winner of my first giveaway.
Now I have another.
I purchased some beautiful origami geisha bookmarks in Japan to share with two of my loyal readers. To enter to win post a response to this question: What is your most prized souvenir from your travels?
Winners will be chosen next week. Thanks for tuning in.
I recently revised a piece that appeared on my blog. It was published on "Go Girl!" an online magazine for adventurous female travelers.
Here's the link http://www.travelgogirl.com/
You will have to forgive my first attempt at putting together a video. They will get better ;0) [youtube]http://youtu.be/ScajsD-6EDo[/youtube]
Hey Everyone, I'm trying to plan my next family getaway and I need some ideas. For the first time we'll be traveling with an infant so I'd like to keep the flight from New York relatively short. We want to leave either late Fall or early Winter, other than that I'm open. If you have any suggestions go ahead and post, I'd appreciate your help.