3 products I loveHi there! I'm back with my weekly edition of 3 Natural Products I Am Loving! I am really enjoying the process of replacing toxic products in my home and beauty drawer one at a time. It honestly hasn't been hard to come up with more to share. I am constantly trying sample sizes or new things to find favorites, so if you know of something good, please let me know in the comments. 

This week I'm sharing two really practical things I use over and over and one really fun, indulgent product! 

3 products I love  Fresh Vibes Spray (It's DIY and very simple to make!) 

I made this just a few months ago, and it's already almost completely empty. It's my favorite scent, and I spray it on our sheets every night as we are getting ready for bed! I guess it's time to make more! 

3 products I love   3 products I love   Ecobrow Defining Wax

I have very patchy eyebrows and lining them daily is the number one thing that helps me look more "normal". I really loved the product I was using for my brows in the past few years. It worked great, but it is rated a 10 on the Think Dirty app (products are rated 1-10 and 10 is the worst). So I knew it was time for a change. A friend of mine suggested Ecobrow and you can actually find it at Sephora, which is nice. The only downside is you have to purchase a brush as well. No biggie though! It works great and the color I wear is called Penelope... aawwwe! 

3 products I love     Herbivore Calm Dead Sea Soaking Salts 

These salts smell very floral and traditional... honestly they smell really different than I expected. But I like them a lot. They last a long time and are a bath-time treat! Great gift idea too. 

3 products I love       3 products I love Thanks so much for reading! You guys are the best!!! xx- Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson 

Cooling Body Mist  Cooling Body Mist    Georgia has given us a pretty hot summer so far... also, very humid! I’m naturally drawn to the comfort of air conditioning, but with my little family of four, we’ve been getting out of the house a lot more and enjoying the sunshine. Mostly to help my two year old burn off some of his extra energy! Is there a way to bottle that stuff?? I’m convinced he could power a small village. ;)
 
I was inspired to create a cooling and soothing body mist that would be the perfect companion for a day outside, at the gym, by the pool, at the beach or on a family adventure. This natural mist is both perfect for cooling off your skin in the heat and soothing your skin if you get a little too much sun. While I have it pictured in a larger bottle here, it would also be super handy to make smaller portions to make it on-the-go friendly. You can just half this recipe if you would rather use a 4oz bottle.
 
Bonus, this stuff smells amazing and gives you such an energizing feeling! 

Cooling Body Mist
Supplies:
-distilled water
-peppermint and lavender essential oil
 
Fill your glass bottle with 3/4 cup of distilled water. Using a funnel, add 2 tablespoons of aloe oil, 2 teaspoons of witch hazel and 1 teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil. Make sure you are using fractionated coconut oil, since this type of oil stays in its liquid form instead of becoming a solid like other coconut oils. Top off your mist with 25 drops of pure peppermint essential oil and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Voila! 

Cooling Body Mist   Cooling Body Mist
Give your cooling spritz a good shake before spraying on your skin. I find it best to apply to the back of your neck, back, crease of your arms and on the backs of your legs. I recommend NOT spraying it on your face, peppermint near or in your eyes is not comfortable! 
 
I love that the aloe, witch hazel and lavender are super soothing and calming on the skin, especially great if you have a sunburn. The peppermint will leave your skin feeling nice and cool too. This will be your best friend during the hot months for sure! Put a bottle in your gym bag, pool bag and purse... you won’t be sorry. ;) Lots of love, Sav.

Credits//Author and Photography: Savannah Wallace. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
 

Crunchy beet and sprout sushi (via abeautifulmess.com) Crunchy beet and sprout sushi (via abeautifulmess.com)    Yep, I'm still on a homemade sushi roll kick. In case you missed my last installment of sushi-hating-girl-makes-sushi, check it out here (still LOVE this flavor combo). 

I'm exaggerating a little there though, as I couldn't actually say that I "hate" or "hated" sushi. But it wasn't really my favorite food. So this has been a real lesson in never say never because I truly never would have thought that I'd be getting into homemade sushi rolls. And yet, here I am. I guess I'm eating a slice of humble pie along with my sushi. :)

Crunchy beet and sprout sushi (via abeautifulmess.com)  This roll is all about pickled beets, crunchy spouts, and then a toasted coconut sesame topping that puts it over the top! Don't skip the crunchy topping; it adds so much flavor and texture to these. I love a little crunch in my sushi to balance out the soft, chewy rice. But this is a great alternative if you don't want to tempura deep fry anything. 

These rolls are mostly made of items I usually have on hand anyway, expect sprouts. That's not something I buy every week, but I do love them in this, on sandwiches, or just on top of dishes to add a little more nutrition and some crunch. These are also shockingly easy to make! Before I got into this, I thought homemade sushi would be too difficult and time consuming to make. But these rolls took me about 30 minutes to put together, and I'm not even very good at rolling. I guess what I'm saying is – this is easy, delicious, a little bit unexpected, and a fun way to eat a plant-based meal. 

Plus, I love beets. But that could be a whole other paragraph, so I'll spare you. For now. :)

Sushi ingredientsCrunchy Beet and Sprouts Sushi, makes 4-5 rolls (each 6-8 pieces). Could easily feed 2-3 people, maybe 4 with a side dish. 

1 cup uncooked sushi rice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3-4 small pickled beets
1/2 cucumber
1/2 cup sprouts
soy wrappers or Nori

For the topping:
1 tablespoon Panko
1 tablespoon coconut flakes (unsweetened)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
soy sauce, Tamari, or coconut aminos for serving

First get your rice going. Following the directions on the package. This will probably mean rinsing the rice, then combining in a small pot with 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 18-20 minutes until most of the water has absorbed. Remove the rice from the pot to a medium size mixing bowl and stir in the vinegar so that all the rice gets coated. Allow to cool enough to handle before use (this won't take but 5-10 minutes). 

Cutting sushiWhile the rice is cooking, prep your vegetables: thinly slice the cucumber, beets, and have the sprouts ready. You can also prep the topping at this time. In a dry pan combine the Panko, coconut, and sesame seeds. Cook over medium/high heat until the coconut begins to look very toasted. Stir every now and again with a wooden spoon so that nothing burns. Once the mixture looks toasted and smells fragrant, remove to a plate and allow to cool until you need it. 

Once the rice is ready, get your sushi rolling mat out, or you can use plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place a sheet of the soy paper or Nori on the wrap, cover in rice (it's quite sticky, so this may take some getting used to), then place the filling vegetables on one edge. Roll up and gently press as you do so everything sticks together. Remove from the plastic wrap and slice into pieces. I will sometimes lightly coat my (clean) fingers or my knife in a little oil so it doesn't stick as much to the rice, but don't over do it or things can get too oily. 

Top the rolls with the crunchy coconut topping. 

Crunchy beet and sprout sushi (via abeautifulmess.com) If you have wasabi paste or pickled ginger to serve with this, then you'll really make it feel like a fancy night at home! I recently picked up this sushi serving board that has built in chopsticks (they are stored underneath) and a little spot for soy sauce – I thought it was too cute! I got mine at T.J.Maxx, but I also like this one. xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

My favorite essential oils to diffuse at home    Hey, guys! I have been diffusing essential oils at bedtime for about two years now, and I just realized I've never shared my favorites here with you! 

I first started diffusing lavender oil a few years ago when I was having issues with insomnia. I don't necessarily believe that the oils healed my sleeping issues (cutting way back on alcohol and cutting out using my computer in bed is what did it for me!), but I absolutely loved the routine of it. So I continued. I am a big believer in routines and triggers. Certain songs and scents have the ability to transport me to a happy place, provide nostalgia or reinforce daily routines. So, for me, diffusing oils every night is a thing that helps me get in the mood for sleep. 

Here are my favorites, and I'll share what I think they are good for as well! 

Fresh & Happy. Lemon, Grapefruit, Wild Orange. I love these scents for daytime, not so much for sleeping. Although I do think citrus is nice mixed with lavender for sleeping... very summery! Lemon is one of my all-time favorite scents because it reminds me of my grandma. Out of these three, I've definitely used grapefruit the most. 

Warm & Rustic. Clove, White Fir, Cassia. For that fall-winter mood (which for me kind of lasts all year long as far as which scents I naturally gravitate toward). For some reason I cannot use clove and cassia at night, but I love them during the day in place of a candle. Clove smells exactly like the spice and mixes well with any other warm, rustic scent. Cassia smells like cinnamon. White fir is my favorite oil ever. It smells the most like a good candle to me. It's what I use for my laundry as well. It blends well with the neutral and clean scents. 

Neutral & Clean. Purify, Bergamot, Eucalyptus. I would also include lavender and peppermint here – I just didn't have them for a photo. Purify is not my favorite scent for sleeping, but it's very clean and puts me in more of a spring cleaning mood. Bergamot and eucalyptus are my top two that I currently use at bedtime every night (mixed together). Lavender is the most well-known oil for sleep, it's just not my personal preference. Peppermint is so refreshing and nice! I use a lot of skincare products that have peppermint oil in them, and I just love it. 

My advice is to start small – collect a few oils and add to them over time. You definitely do not have to use the brand I am using. I chose it because they are food grade and even though I don't use them for food, they are sometimes ingredients in things like toothpaste and oil pulling cubes that I have been experimenting with. Also, I just like the packaging. 

You will also need a diffuser. Mine is pretty boring and ugly (the little plastic white box from DoTerra brand also), but it does the job! If I get another one (which I plan to for our living spaces or maybe my office), I think I would either get a woodgrain one or one with a pink light maybe? I actually turn my light all the way off at night, but you can use it as a nightlight if you want. Some are even clocks. 

Alright! I hope this has been helpful! I know many of you have far more experience with this topic than I do, so please chime in and share your favorite oils to diffuse as well. We'd love to hear! xx- Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. 

Aloe Margarita RecipeI had a lot of fun working on this recipe. It's really unique. I've shared a lot of sweet margaritas here (like watermelon, cranberry orange, peach and coconut). 

This recipe is on the less sweet side. Still lightly sweet, but not nearly as much as the others. I'd put it more in line with the cucumber margarita. Light and very fresh! 

Plus, you have to give it bonus points for being so pretty, right?? 

Aloe Margarita Recipe  Aloe Margarita, serves one 

2 ounces margarita mix
2 ounces tequila blanco 
3 ounces aloe juice 
squeeze of fresh lime juice 

Mix the ingredients and garnish with pink salt and a piece of organic aloe if you want. Serve over ice. 

One thing to note! The aloe plant will ooze out aloe juice into your drink. It will be more bitter than the kind you buy at the store. So keep mixing the drink as you drink. If you get a big sip from the bottom of the glass with a straw, you might get straight aloe juice. It's safe to drink, it's just not very sweet. :) 

Aloe Margarita Recipe What do you think?? Do you want to try it?? 

Aloe Margarita Recipe   Hope you guys have an incredible weekend!!!! xoxo! Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. 

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