Sunday, 31 May 2020

How to Utilise Your Ice Cube Tray To Make Beauty Products and Snacks

The longer I spend at home, the more creative I am becoming in an attempt to keep busy. Self-care days are definitely getting longer! I’ve been researching how to make natural beauty alternatives at home, and discovered there was a bit of a pattern… most products you can make with ingredients you might already have, but best of all you can whip up these ideas thanks to your ice cube tray. I’ve had my Samsung appliance for just over two years, and my trays are built into my freezer. I wish I knew these recipes a lot sooner, it’s taken spending more time at home to discover these fun recipes. 

I’ve not only been experimenting with skincare additions, but also snacks and a revolutionary way to keep my iced coffee less watery. This is a big deal for me as coffee is a big part of my day. So read on for four ways to utilise your ice cube tray.

1. Body Scrub

Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Brown Sugar, Essential Oil, Soap
Method: Melt coconut oil and mix in brown sugar. Add a dash of oil for scent (lavender is great for relaxation) and grate quarter bar of soap. Spoon into your ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, you can remove the individual body scrubs and they will melt onto your skin when used a warm shower. They remove dead skin skills and leave your skin soft and nourished.

2. Flavoured Coffee Cubes

Ingredients: French Pressed/Moka Pot Coffee, Coconut Syrup (or alternative)
Method: Pour coffee and syrup into your ice cube tray and freeze.
Iced lattes can become quite diluted adding ice, so fill your glass with milk and add these coffee cubes instead! This way your coffee is just as strong. 

Alcoholic version for cocktails:
Fill half the ice cube tray with hot coffee adding in coffee liqueur. Let that freeze and then fill the remaining half with single cream. Place 2 into a Martini glass and add Vodka.

3. Aloe Vera Cubes for Sunburn

Ingredients: Brewed Green Tea, Fresh Aloe Vera
Method: Brew a pot of green tea and pour into your ice cube tray. Cut Aloe Vera from a plant and scoop the gel from the stems into the trays. Freeze and apply to sunburn when needed.
Both Aloe Vera and Green tea have soothing properties. The natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in green tea can work to take down the angry eruption caused by UV damage. They also come in handy on a hot day at home to cool yourself down, and additionally great to sweep over your face to reduce puffiness.

4. Melted Chocolate Bites

Ingredients: Cooking Chocolate, Fresh Blueberries, Peanut Butter
Method: Melt your chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Spoon into your ice cube tray adding in blueberries or other fruit. Swap fruit for peanut butter if you're after something a little more sweet. Freeze and enjoy!

So there you have it, less conventional ways to utilise your freezer, which one is your favourite? I have some videos on my Instagram stories making these recipes which are live for 24 hours.

Article in partnership with Samsung Home Appliances 
Photography and creative direction by yours truly


Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Hand Creams

Now more than ever, our hands need a little more TLC. With extra hand washing and increased hand sanitiser usage, our poor hands are starting to feel more dry and deprived. I’ve always had a couple of hand creams I alter between. Some are more convenient for travel, others more permanent fixtures on the bathroom sink, and finally the hand cream on the bedside table.

Usually, I am travelling a fair bit on trains or planes (definitely not at the moment) but when that resumes, I like to carry a small tube which is under 100ml and easy to pop in my handbag. This is the grab and go cream! I also consider the scent for this type of cream. Calming scents such as lavender, Rose, Ylang Ylang and Bergamot are great to calm nerves and anxiety making travel less stressful. Personal favourites are Byredo, By Terry Baume de Rose cream, and Le Labo.

Then you have the ‘aesthetic’ hand creams at the kitchen and bathroom sinks. The one pump to soften hands after washing them. Personal favourites are Aesop, Leif, and Grown Alchemist.

Finally, a super nourishing hand cream or balm which I slather on for night time. At the moment, I’m using the Susanne Kaufmann Hand Cream and the scent is divine. Exceptionally nourishing, this cream calms stressed skin with active ingredients made from mallow and witch hazel.

Photography and Creative Direction by Yours Truly

*Images photographed pre-lockdown

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Working From Home

My apartment has had a little reshuffle the last few weeks in an attempt to refocus my time working more from home. I’ve moved my desk into a little nook next to the kitchen (great proximity to my Samsung fridge!), and my dining table is in the window. Spring has sprung and meal times with a view makes me remember why I fell in love with this airy space in the first place.

Natural light is so important to me, as my home is also my studio. It’s where I create a lot of imagery for myself and clients. Now the days are longer, staying home doesn’t actually feel too bad. I try and stick to a routine where possible, as being a creative means everyday can be a bit different. In all honesty, my daily work routine has changed a lot over the last two years as found some aspects of my day were better to do at a different time. So I’ve shared some tips for people who are new to working from home, as it’s taken me a few different routines to find one right for me. Everyone works differently and at their own pace, so it might not be for you. But hope some points help in some way:

1. 8am start
I try and start the day the same time Monday-Friday so my body has a routine. I never check my emails or phone whilst in bed, I wait until after I have brushed my teeth! Sounds random, but it’s because if I reach for my phone the moment I am awake I could end up lying in bed for up to an hour scrolling social media.

2. Coffee and quiet time
I’ve wanted a coffee machine for the best part of two years but never made it happen. So instead, I bought a cafetiere for the hob which makes beautiful espresso coffee.

3. At Home Workout
I’ve started doing workouts at home around 4 days a week. No equipment needed other than a mat. It’s been saving me money on a gym and Personal Trainer, and I save time getting to and from the gym. I am finding so many cool workouts on You Tube that are HIIT focused for a duration of 30 minutes long. I used to workout at the gym in the evenings, but when I’m behind the camera I get really tired hence morning workouts being a big change for me.

4. Shower, Dress Comfortably, Add Music
Even though I am home, I think it’s nice to still make an effort with wearing something a bit more smarter than your PJ’s. I have been investing in good quality loungewear and linen. Personally, this gets me into a professional mind set. Recently I’ve been listening to the radio whilst working. It can get a bit quiet and lonely on your own at home. I was trying my hand at podcasts, but when typing or editing I couldn’t concentrate on the two! 

5. Set Meal Times and Stay Hydrated
It’s very easy to skip meals when you don’t have colleagues to go to lunch with! For the last couple of months, I’ve tried to eat at around the same time each day. This is mainly an effort to reduce sugar intake, and to focus more on meals rather than snacking. I try and follow a low carb diet which has worked for me and bloating. Another tip is to have a large bottle of water at your desk so you remember to stay hydrated! Again, aids with my bloating and also reduces mind fog. 

6. Daily Walk
I try and get out for a 30 minute walk to the park (sometimes a run if I’m feeling super energetic). A bit of fresh air does the world of good.

I’ll be writing more about my time at home in the coming months, so if you want anymore tips or even have some recommendations, my DM’s on Instagram are always open. You can also add a comment under this article. Have a great week!

Article in partnership with Samsung Home Appliances
Photography and creative direction by yours truly.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Weekend Habitat: Casa Modesta, Portugal

Breathe and escape for this Weekend Habitat. Casa Modesta is a small family run hotel located in the Algarve, Portugal which I had the pleasure of visiting and photographing in October 2019. Combining rural tourism with a contemporary feel, this tranquil oasis is the perfect weekend escape for a slower way of life. Consisting of 9 rooms with patios, privacy is guaranteed. The property promotes and supports local businesses; it's a good feeling to know you will be supporting small. Skip the larger chain hotels in the coming months and keep these family traditions running. You won't be disappointed.

Photography: Helen-Jayne Driscoll

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