Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lush Life

I have discovered some skin care products I really like. Now normally I don't do product endorsements on my blogs, however I can't resist talking about these products, they are so wonderful. The store is called Lush. There are only 200 around the country so it may or may not be in your area, but they can always be found online at These are handmade, vegan skin and hair care products that are fabulous. My teen daughters talked me into visiting the store while on vacation in Boulder CO. The salesperson did a little demo where we got to sample four of the products on our hands. I was hooked. These products do wonders for my tough dry Midwestern skin. I've never been softer or smelled so delightful- and the softness and good smells last throughout the day. I've purchased shampoo and conditioners, soaps, facial masks, skin lotions, and moisturizers, fizzy "bath bombs" hard little cakes of bubble bath, and 'massage bars' that are to die for. I love these melty little bars of skin moisturizer that are to be applied in the shower. The products are unique, the company is unique, the names of products are definitely one of a kind. I wash my hair with BIG, and condition it with RETREAD. The next thing I'm going to try is the toner, other assorted moisturizers, and the solid shampoo bars. The best part is- there is a LUSH store less than 2 miles from my house- the only one in my state! How's that for serendipity?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Animal Free Feast

Came home from church today and wanted to make a nice vegetarian feast for my family. I had picked up some very nice handmade pita from the farmer's market yesterday- there's a lovely Middle Eastern bakery located there with the most wonderful breads. My son had made falafel yesterday and there were lots left over, so I built the meal around that and the pita. I grilled the pita in olive oil on our griddle that I now use for everything. While I reheated the falafel, I whipped up some tabbouleh (from a boxed mix) and some rice pilaf (also from a boxed mix). I had some left over cooked french lentils in the freezer, so I mixed them into the rice pilaf. While the tabbouleh was cooling in the fridge and the rice and lentils were simmering, I cut up veggies to go with the pita and falafel. I had fresh home grown tomatoes from the market, onion, broccoli sprouts, and cucumber slices. I filled a bowl with crumbled feta. I didn't have all the ingredients for tatziki sauce, but I did have a new can of tahini. I mixed some tahini with mayonnaise and a dab of spicy mustard and squeezed in the juice from half a lemon. It made a very tasty sauce for the falafel. It was all done just in time for the pita to be crisp and toasty hot. I cut the rounds into quarters and heaped them into a bread basket. For dessert I sat a fresh cluster of grapes on a plate and surrounded them with slices of sweet ripe mango. I put all the food in nice serving dishes and set them on the table. It was not only delicious, but beautiful. I was so proud of my impromptu feast. I am beginning the see the gift in the ability to prepare and serve a nice meal. I had begun to think of cooking as a drudgery, but now since I have the challenge of learning to prepare meatless meals, I can see it as more of an adventure.