How To DIY Easter Centerpiece

easter center 2Spring has sprung and Easter is almost here! Wether you’re hosting Easter brunch or dinner, or simply want to make your coffee table a bit festive, here’s how to DIY Easter centerpiece. It could take as little as ten minutes, and with this, the simpler more rustic the better.

You’ll first need to choose a wire basket, cake stand, or large vase…….or make all three!

  • 1 large package of raffia
  • 1 package of paper Easter basket grass filling
  • Several faux eggs (craft stores have these)
  • Ribbon
  • Scrap of fabric or a cloth napkin
  • and whatever else you want to make it your own

To create the nest, simply pull a chunk (for lack of a better word) of raffia out of the package, keeping the strands easter centerpiecetogether. Twist the entire bundle like you’re wringing out a towel, and shape it into a circle the size of the outside perimeter of your cake stand. Wrap the ends around itself and tuck them under. The raffia tends to get a little unruly and may come undone. If this happens, secure loose pieces hair pins or floral pins.

Heather Libby is the clever creative behind this centerpiece, and to check out all her yummy treats and crafty ideas, go to her personal blog, diydujour.com. Heather is also a contributing author at thebakeryspot.com.

stumpIf you are still drinking coffee that chugs out of a spigot, you need an intervention. That intervention will start right here, with knowing how to make a perfect french press cup of coffee. We will turn to Stumptown Coffee Roasters for our expert tutorial. They’re the coolest kids on the block when it comes to super crafted, all-around high quality coffee. And there are no pots sitting on burners or powered milk packets. You deserve better.

First, a little bit on the company….”At Stumptown Coffee Roasters coffee is king—but it’s still our relationships that really keep us going. We source the best coffees in the world and strive to maintain transparent, quality-based relationships with our farmers along the way. From plant to portafilter, we pay homage to these folks through our own fervent attention to detail at every step, quality control in our cupping labs, meticulous roasting profiles and extensive barista education.”Instructions:

Using a Press Pot (aka French Press) is the easiest and best way to get truly excellent coffee at home. The keys to getting good results are: using high quality, freshpress beans; grinding the coffee correctly; using clean equipment and filtered water; timing the process.

You’ll need a Press Pot, coffee, a grinder, a spoon, a timer and cups (and thermal carafe if preparing more than fits in the cups).

For your thorough, step by step, illustrated tutorial of how to make a mean cup of coffee in your very own kitchen, go here –  French Press Coffee Instructions

When in LA, must go to their east downtown cafe. You’ll most likely run into Al Pacino after chatting to the barista about your secrets to winning backgammon and getting the tip on the best place to find a vintage fur coat.

Los Angeles: 806 S Santa Fe – 213-337-0936

DIY Coconut Body Butter

DIY Coconut Body Butter

Yep, you read correctly, homemade whipped coconut oil body butter! In your very own kitchen! With that very store bought organic jar of cooking coconut oil! It’s so simple and so good for your skin, you’ll rarely want to use any other body butter at the drug store. This recipe will last a month or so. If you have extra, bottle it up, wrap it up and gift it for Christmas! Everyone loves something thoughtfully handmade, and your special gift receiver will be thankful for days on end with their skin feeling sinfully luxurious.

Ingredients:

1 cup organic coconut oil, room temp.

1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

a few drops or your favorite essential oil, lavender, peppermint, lemon balm and good ones to go with

1. Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl, preferably a kitchen aid. Note: Do not melt the coconut oil first. It will only whip up if it’s solid.

2. Mix on high speed with a wire whisk for 6-7 minutes or until whipped into a light, airy consistency.wipped

3. Spoon the whipped coconut oil body butter into a glass jar and cover tightly. Store at room temperature, or in the refrigerator if your house is so warm it melts the oil

For more live well, eat well tips and clever advice, check out The Nourished Life.

Flavored Water

Flavored Water

Feasting and indulging is all around us, that is why these DIY natural flavored waters will feel like a bright, refreshing spa trip in the middle of errand running and house cleaning. Fake sweetener and lab chemicals are so last decade, forget those artificial colored waters that promise a detox or a sharper mind. It’s bogus. It’s not healthy. Let’s use what God made for a true detox and a sharper mind, fresh produce. Here are a few ideas and you can mix and match or create your own. Keep in the fridge at all times to ensure smooth, clever, hydrated holidays that will have you waking up with a spring in your step instead of a pounding hangover.

1. Citrus Thyme: antioxidants//clarity//vitamin C

Slice 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 lemon into rounds, 1/2 grapefruit then cut the rounds in half. Add to jar with about 10 fresh sprigs of thyme, press and twist with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon. Press enough to release some of the juices, but don’t pulverize the fruit into pieces. Fill the jar with ice. Pour in water to the top. Stir it with the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick. Put a lid on it, put it in the fridge, and chill.

2. Blackberry Blueberry Sage: high tannins//good memory//muscle relaxing

Add sage leaves to jar and bruise with a muddler. Add handful of both berries; press and twist with muddler to release their juices. Fill jar with ice cubes, add waterwater 2 to the top, stir, cover and refrigerate.

3. Watermelon Rosemary: anti-inflamatory//concentration//improved digestion

Add a sprig of rosemary to jar and muddle gently (rosemary releases a strong flavor without much muddling). Add watermelon cubes; twist and press gently to release juices. Fill jar with ice cubes, add water to the top, stir, cover and refrigerate.

 

Get your large mason jars here!! 

And thanks to The Yummy Life for the gorgeous pics and the clever ideas 🙂

Tis the season for all things pumpkin, and that should absolutely include homemade fresh pumpkin butter! Just a bit of prep work and let it simmer away on the stovetop to smooth, sweet perfection. Hot tip: this will splatter a bit, so put a lid on it, but prop it open with a wooden spoon so steam can be released. Or it

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Butter

won’t reduce and instead become watery.

 

approx. 3 1/2 – 4 cups roasted pumpkin, pureed in a blender, or 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sweet apple juice

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup brown sugar

3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Juice of half a lemon

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

recipe adapted from smitten kitchen

Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice, or more to taste. Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. Or freeze it. Or eat it all right away. On toast with salty butter, on top your yogurt and granola, on top pancakes or waffles with a bit of homemade whipped cream, in a banana & almond milk smoothy, or simply lick it off your fingers.

Yes, it’s pumpkin carving time, but color out of the lines this season with these 3 new ways to use a pumpkin.

1. Party Cooler

What’s cooler than a pumpkin cooler?? Get the largest pumpkin you can find, cut a large hole and scoop out the seeds. Fill with ice and your drink of choice.

Pumpkin Cooler

Pumpkin Cooler

2. Flower Vase

Cut the original hole, scoop the seeds, and give it a nice rinse. To take it a step further, give the pumpkin a good paint job, any color that goes with your house. Then fill with water and get clever with your flower arrangement.

Pumpkin Vase

Pumpkin Vase

3. Candle Holder

If carving and seed scooping really isn’t your thing, this one is for those who opt for minimal mess making. Gather pumpkins large and small, you may paint them if you like, and gather enough candles accordingly. Trace the base of a candle for it’s specific pumpkin and cut a hole 2-3 inches deep. Make sure your candle is secure and snug, then go ahead and light her up.

Pumpkin Candle

Pumpkin Candle