Soothing Lavender Aloe Skin Tonic

Soothing Lavender Aloe Skin Tonic for irritated or sunburned skin!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase after clicking them, I receive a small commission which in no way effects the price of the product for you. It's nice when events conspire to inspire you, isn't it? While in Maine for four days, I had a foot soak and massage at a lovely place in Portland. After the foot soak and massage, they spritzed my feet with a Soothing Lavender Skin Tonic. It felt divine and I vowed to recreate it when I got home. I drove eight and a half hours to get home from Maine yesterday. Our car has no air conditioning and it was both hot and humid, so I drove home with my window down and my arm resting on the door most of the way. The result was a seriously nasty sunburn from my shoulder to my wrist. I knew Lavender essential oil was good for sunburns, so set to making the Soothing Lavender Skin Tonic immediately... Oh sweet relief. Let me share it with you! So how BAD was my sunburn? Pretty bad. Let's just say this photo doesn't really do it justice. For a better view of the red horror that was my arm, look at this one on instagram. Um, ow. When I got out of the car, the Evil Genius looked at my arm and gasped then said, "Oh my. That has to hurt." I told him, "Don't worry. I have a plan!" I hugged the boys and ran straight into the kitchen where I mixed up my Soothing Lavender Aloe Tonic as fast as could be and popped it into the only clean and unoccupied spray bottle I had in my house: my Misto Sprayer. Thankfully, I store my 100% … {Read on...}

JCPenney Surprised Me

JCPenney's we fit you philosophy is carried out in every single department. #JCPAmbassador

Photo credit: Susan Getgood When BlogHer asked if I'd consider being a JCPenney brand ambassador I was a little confused. Why would a company that sold business clothing for women want me as a brand ambassador? BECAUSE I THOUGHT JCPENNEY WAS A LITTLE STODGY. Please note the past tense in that verb 'thought.' I'll get back to that in a moment. This was based in I don't-even-know-what. I had ordered jeans frequently for the older boys from JCPenney online, because they were one of the only retailers who sold the impossible-to-find-sizes (28x30s and 29x32s) I mean honestly... Who is that size other than my two lanky teenagers? And yes. I do mean I order jeans for them frequently, because my fourteen year old does THAT to his jeans. We're considering renaming him Shredder Lindamood. Reminder: I live in the middle of nowhere. I don't get to real live stores very often. I accepted the brand ambassadorship based on the fact that they kept my kids in pants when no one else could. Part of the agreement was a trip to Plano, Texas to visit their headquarters along with the other fabulous bloggers chosen to be ambassadors: Natalia of MaNouvelleMode, Meseidy of The Noshery, Jill of One Good Thing by Jillee, and Jamie of Hands On: As We Grow. When we arrived, we were greeted by that sign you see above and at that moment, my opinion of JCPenney started to shift. The change became seismic when we sat down in a conference room and got to meet with the brain trust of JCPenney; the heads of … {Read on...}

Plantain Chips

Fried Plantain Chips from

While I was familiar with plantains and had eaten them several ways before, I had my first plantain chips ever while visiting Miami in May. I have since made up for lost time by FRYING ALL THE PLANTAINS. It's easy as can be and yields a chip that is sturdy enough to dip just about anything, dead crispy, and a fun departure from the norm. My kids are going a little bonkers for them. One of them defines his love for Plantain Chips as being, "Crazy, because they LOOK like bananas but don't TASTE like bananas which is BANANAS!" So if they look like bananas and don't taste like bananas, what DO they taste like? Well, they are a little sweet (but not anywhere in the territory of banana sweet) and a little nutty. It's kind of hard to explain if you have never had them. And keeping with the 'looks like a banana but doesn't ____ like a banana" theme, there is a bit of a trick to peeling them. You might think you just peel 'em, but that would be an exercise in serious frustration. Luckily, my gal, Meseidy of The Noshery, has a great tutorial on her blog on how to peel the little beasts. Rest assured, though, that it's totally worth the learning curve on peeling this NOT-A-BANANA. And yes, I'm asking you to break out the hot oil here, but I'm telling you, the payoff is immense. When you fry them instead of baking them, they stay crispier FAR longer than they otherwise would have. All bets are off, of course, if you're in massively humid weather... Then you'd do best to eat … {Read on...}

Crispy Avocado Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Relish

Crispy Avocado Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Relish from

When I visited Plano, Texas last month on business, I went out to lunch at the Taco Diner Plano Legacy. I had a taco sampler plate and opted for a combination of Puerco Al Pastor tacos and vegetarian Crispy Fried Avocado tacos. Some of the grilled pineapple from my Al Pastor tacos fell onto my crispy avocado tacos, and the rest, as they say is history. I tasted it and loved it so much that I recreated the happy accident at home, on purpose, adding some fresh lime juice and cilantro to the party. The result: Crispy Avocado Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Relish. This is our new favourite taco. I cannot remember one moment in my almost forty years of life that I have ever turned down a taco. The truth is that I consider tacos and pizza the most perfectly designed foods on the face of the Earth. There's nothing about them that I dislike. Even a mediocre taco is better than a spectacular casserole to me. Heh. Is there such a thing as a spectacular casserole? But seriously. Tacos and pizzas... If I had to choose just a couple of foods to live on for the rest of all time I'd choose those. Okay, maybe add fried dumplings to that list. And hamburgers. And my Grandma's biscuits and cornbread. THE POINT IS... This recipe was the entire reason I made the Crispy Avocado Fries and Grilled Pineapple Relish. I ended up loving both of them so much on their own that I gave them their own posts, but people -PEOPLE!- this is the business. This is the stuff. Crispy, Creamy Avocado … {Read on...}

Cheese Tray

How to put together a Cheese Tray for appetizers or a light summer meal.

Cheese. It wouldn't be too far a stretch to say I live for it. In fact, I'm spending today on the road driving to Maine to hang out with some of my favourite bloggers and some of the excellent people at Cabot Cheese Cooperative. Cheese plus bread plus fruit plus a little good sausage equals a perfectly satisfying and good summer meal in my book; I've mentioned it before. This post isn't about that, though, it's about how to put together a great cheese tray with all of those elements. Oh, and there's a giveaway for a Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer, but first... CHEESE! I've already mentioned our well-loved Garlic and Herb Dipping Oil and bread summer staple meal but I want to talk about one that we bust out for really special occasions: the Cheese Tray. This one makes my kids whoop with delight. In short, it's cheese, fruit, bread, and sausage on a tray... or a platter... or a plate... Heck. Sometimes we just keep it all on the cutting board we used to cut it up. When we have bread, it goes on there, too. If we don't have bread, we use crackers. It's another one of those conversation starter meals. You eat, you talk about life, you combine things, you chat about your combinations. There's a little more art to the meal than just slapping a bunch of fromage on a tray, though. It's not difficult if you keep three things in mind: 1: The strength of the cheese. 2: The flavours of the cheese. 3: Give me your cheese Okay, I guess it's just two things you really … {Read on...}