Lemon and Honey Face Scrub

I thought that one of the benefits of getting older was no longer getting breakouts! It seems lately that I’ve been getting some minor breakouts and dry flaky skin and it’s annoying.

I’ve been washing with Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub, I love this daily scrub. But once, or twice a week, I feel I need a little something more powerful to get rid of the flaky skin.

Then I use Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel, I’m not really sure if it helps shorten the time of breakouts. Sometimes it seems like it does and sometimes it doesn’t. It does tend to leave the areas around where I put it dry.

Sometimes, when I remember, I’ll take some Witch hazel on a cotton ball and swipe that over my face. But I really don’t like the smell. Then I finish up with Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15.

So I did a little research into homemade face scrubs that have the benefits of moisturizing, healing, and acne reduction. My research lead me to Lemon and Honey Face Scrub.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Honey: Anti-aging (who doesn’t want to slow down the clock?) it pulls moisture from the air and into the skin, it helps to even out skin tone, clear the skin, soften the skin and brighten the skin. It has inflammation-reducing properties, is antibacterial and can help reduce pain and swelling, and it can help minimize scaring. These qualities make it beneficial in treating acne. I may try a dab of honey on the problem spots after washing, and let it sit for a while (between 15 and 30 minutes) and wash off.

Lemon: Lemons cleanse the face and body. are antibacterial and can help treat acne, rich in vitamin C and citric acid so they help brighten and lighten skin when used over time. Lemon can reduce excess oil and can calm dry scalp and remedy dandruff.

Sugar: Like honey, sugar also draws moisture from the air and into the face. Sugar is a source for glycolic acid, which promotes younger looking skin. Lastly, it exfoliates and gets rid of dead skin.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil has regenerative properties and it helps keep skin soft and smooth while toned and firm, and can help sooth and heal skin irritation. For really dry skin, virgin olive oil can be used as a night cream or added to a face scrub. Adding olive oil to the a face scrub, or using as a face massage as a carrier for essential oils it can also promote circulation.


This is pretty simple to make. I took the sugar in a bowl and added the olive oil and honey, mixing well. When mixed, I squeezed the lemon to the mixture. I would recommend using a citrus reamer over a strainer. I had to pick out the seeds, it wasn’t a big deal. Once all mixed up, I put it into one of my cute jars.

So far, I’ve tried this on my face twice this week in preparation for a potential date this weekend. After rubbing it in, I let it sit on my face for about 15 minutes. You can let it sit for as long as you want. When it was time to remove, I washed it off with a warm wash cloth. So far my face is nice and soft and some of the redness is gone. In addition to the results I’ve seen, it got the Harley Seal of Approval. I was applying the scrub to my face today and I looked over and Harley was licking the lid to the jar. Thankfully I have enough canning lids!

Irish Beef Stew

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday, I made Irish Beef Stew. This is something I never made, and I’ve never had. I wanted to try something a little festive, and more authentic. Since I work from home I don’t make the treats I did when I worked in the office. That was my excuse for baking! I know traditional Irish Stew calls for lamb and not beef, but beef was what I went with. I think next time I’ll try lamb though.

I love being able to buy the smallest amount of liquor as possible, when I’m cooking with liquor I don’t drink often, if ever.. I left with the bottle of wine (I used Frozen Tundra Red, from a local winery Parallel 44, which is maybe a 20 minute outside Green Bay), a 12 ounce bottle of Guinness and a wee little bottle of Jameson, since I don’t drink Guinness, or Jameson, I figured buying anything larger would be a waste.


  • 1 1/4 pounds sirloin, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (I don’t like stew meat, I think it’s too hard)
  • 1/4 teaspoons of salt (more to taste) since I’m on a low sodium diet (or try to eat less sodium, I used a very light hand
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced-I used pre-minced garlic and put about 2 tablespoons
  • 4 cups beef stock or broth, again I used low sodium
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup of Guinness extra stout
  • 1 cup of hearty red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 medium russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced lengthwise in thick pieces
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots and/or parsnips (3 to 4 carrots or parsnips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


I cut my sirloin in approximately 2 inch pieces, trimming off only the really large pieces of fat. Pat dry and sprinkle with salt. In my cast iron dutch oven, I heated the oil. and then placed 1/3 of the meat in the the oil and cooked until nice and brown. You don’t want to crowd the meat, because you won’t get a nice browning.


Once the meat was nice and brown on one side, using a tongs, I flipped the meat over and browned on the other sides.

While the meat was cooking, I pealed the carrots. When all of the meat was done, I added the garlic to the meat and cooked for a minute or so. When it started smelling nice and garlicky, I added the beef stock, water, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. I brought to a simmer, then lowered the heat to low and let it  cook for an hour.

While the meat was cooking, I took the butter and heated it in another pan, and added onions and carrots and sauteed them. It took about 15 minutes until the onions were nice and golden. I took them off the heat and set aside.

Just before the hour was up, I pealed and cut the potatoes.Then I added the carrots, onions and potatoes to the meat, the recipe I had said to let simmer for 40 minutes. The potatoes weren’t quite cooked after the 40 minutes were up, so I let it all simmer for an hour.

When the stew was ready, I removed the bay leaves, scooped out the extra fat from the top and transferred it in a serving bowl. I then topped mine with parsley before eating.

I really enjoyed this meal. I like most stews. I did think because I was using low sodium broth and not as much salt as the original recipe called for, it could have used a little extra flavor. Next time I make it, I will try lamb and maybe monkey around finding some additional flavors.

Have you made Irish Stew before? Do you have any suggestions to add flavor, without adding salt? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Homemade Body Scrubs

Despite what a large rodent says, we are just over halfway through winter. Only recently the temperature has dropped to frigid temperatures, but winter always leaves my skin is so dry and flaky! Ever since I made the body scrub as gifts, I’ve been testing out various body scrubs. Today here are the three that I’ve enjoyed the most so far. I’m new to the use of essential oils, and by no means an expert, I really go by what I think smells good and how it leaves my skin feeling.

Coffee, Cacao and Brown Sugar Scrub

  • 1/2 cup of organic light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of ground coffee 
  • 2 tablespoons of organic raw cacao powder 
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of avocado oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil

This is the same recipe I used for my Christmas gifts. The recipe can be found over at The Rising Spoon. I loved the coffee, chocolate and peppermint flavor of Elaina’s original version. I wanted to change it up just a bit. Instead of peppermint essential oil, I added sweet orange essential oil. I love the smell of orange it’s such an uplifting smell. It reminds me of summer time. Who couldn’t use some warm thoughts to get through the last part of winter. The combination of the coffee, cacao and orange smells so delicious. It reminds me Terry’s Chocolate Oranges. You know the ones, they’re shaped like and orange, wrapped in orange foil and you smack in order to get the “orange pieces”.

Peppermint and Lavender Body Scrub

  • Coconut Oil
  • Organic Raw Sugar
  • Epsom Salt
  • Lavender and Peppermint Essential Oils
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Lavender Buds


With this recipe, I didn’t measure my ingredients. I was feeling very devil-may-care. I did try to get a sugar to Epsom salt ratio of 1 to 1.
Before adding the coconut oil, I ran it under warm water to liquefy it to make it easier to pour and mix. The ratio of sugar and salt to oil was about 1 to 1.5. I didn’t want it too dry nor did I want too much oil. For me it comes down to trying it out to see if I like the consistency. I started out a little dryer and then added a little more oil until I got to the consistency that worked for me.
I added 15 drops of peppermint essential oil and about 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Finally, I added about a tablespoon of dried lavender buds.

I like to use this body scrub at night, it’s very relaxing and I fund that it helps me sleep. The lavender buds give an extra burst of scent in the shower.

Eucalyptus and Lavender Foot Scrub

  • 1/2 Cup Epsom Salt
  • Avocado Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil and Lavender Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Lavender Buds
For those days I want to pamper myself, I like to give myself a pedicure. After scrubbing away all the dead skin, I like to use a foot scrub to finish my home pedicure. And this foot scrub is perfect. I think the combination of the lavender and the eucalyptus is tied with the coffee, cacao and brown sugar as my favorite.
For this foot scrub, I used 1/4 cup Epsom salt and mixed that with avocado oil until I got the consistency I liked. I added about 10 drops each of the eucalyptus and lavender oils. I topped off the foot scrub with 1/2 teaspoon of the dried lavender buds. This time I crushed them in my hands before adding them to the mix.


How do guys deal with getting rid of the dry skin that winter brings? Do you have any favorite scent combinations? Share in the comments.

Red Velvet Peppermint Poke Cake

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! This year, Christmas was a quiet affair. Christmas Eve, we went to my dad’s sister’s house and celebrated with his family. Christmas Day we went to my mom’s sister’s hour and had dinner with her family. She asked me to make a dessert.  So I decided to make a poke cake.  I decided on making a Red Velvet Peppermint Poke Cake.


  • Cake (from scratch or box)
  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Peppermint extract (to taste)
  • 2 Sticks of butter-softened
  • 1 Package of Cream Cheese-softened
  • 4 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Cup Peppermint Andes Candies


I used a box cake for this recipe and followed the directions. Once the cake as done I let it cool for 15 minutes. While the cake was cooling, I mixed peppermint extract into the sweetened condensed milk. Once cooled, I took a spatula and used it to poke holes in the cake.

Then I poured the sweetened condensed milk over the cake, making sure to cover it completely. Then I put the cake in the fridge to cool some more and have the condensed milk soak into the cake.

While the cake was cooling, I then mixed the frosting.  I took two sticks of softened butter and creamed them.  I added the softened cream cheese and mixed it.  Once the butter and the cream cheese was combined, I added the confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time until well mixed.  Finally, I added the peppermint extract.  I let the frosting sit until the cake was cooled enough to frost without tearing the cake up.
Finally, I topped the cake with the Andes Candies and brought it to my aunts for dessert.



This may become a new Christmas tradition.  Do you have any desserts or things you make every year for Christmas?  I’d like to hear what you make.

White Turkey Chili

This year our Thanksgiving was a quiet affair with just my dad and myself.  Greg and Betsy were in Boston and couldn’t come home. Wednesday, I had received a call from Greg but I was watching Mockingjay with a friend and when I called him back he was busy.  It was about 1:30 am, when Greg finally was able to call me back. And when he did, I was the first one to find out that he had proposed to Betsy! I’m happy to welcome Betsy into our family!

Good news aside, my post today is about what I did with leftover turkey.  I love me some turkey, but I’m not really fond of leftover turkey.  I don’t do turkey salad or turkey sandwiches, so I have to find a way to use the leftovers. The question was: What should I do with the leftovers? Last year I made them into a potpie.  I had to work the Packer game so I needed something I could put together and let sit on the stove while I was up at the stadium. This year I decided on making them into a soup.


I found a few recipes that looked promising. The one I decided on was a White Turkey Chili.


1 tablespoon stick margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeno pepper
1 garlic clove, minced 
3 cups chopped cooked turkey (about 15 ounces)
2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, drained and divided
2 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles 
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup 1% low-fat milk 


1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
Melt the margarine in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients (onion through garlic), and saute 5 minutes. Add turkey, 1 1/2 cups beans, broth, and next 6 ingredients (broth through black pepper), and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
Mash remaining beans. Add mashed beans and milk to the turkey mixture. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently. Stir in chopped cilantro.

I followed the directions, with only a few minor changes. I used about half the amount of onions, omitted the celery, doubled the garlic and only used one can of beans. But I think it turned out for the best, I don’t like a whole lot of beans in my chili.

It got the seal of approval from my dad so it must have been good.

What do you guys do with your turkey leftovers?