Lifestyle: Feeling Floral

If you looked into my wardrobe, if you spoke to my boyfriend, you’d realise very quickly that I love floral things. Floral dresses, flowery skirts, even rose print shirts, I have them all. They suit me, I feel feminine and classy, and they are so easy to wear. But its not just floral clothes that I love. Having flowers scattered in jars and vases around my room instantly cheers it up (though I have to be careful – my room is so small that it can easily be overpowered both in terms of view and scent!). Floral knick-knacks are a favourite, and one of my favourite summer perfumes is heavily floral scented. A So it must come as no surprised that when I was offered the chance to receive some dried flowers from Sous Chef* to play about with, I jumped at the chance!

 photo 2015-02-07 09.41.32_zpsrvnhajep.jpgI was originally going to bake with these, but my ‘lifestyle changes‘ put a stop to that one. In all honestly, I’m still baking. But if I’m going to break my diet, I want brownies. Instead I’ve found other creative ways to use them, and I have to say I’ll definitely be putting an order in for more!

All the flowers I received were edible, so my original plan of Rosewater & Flower cupcakes wouldn’t have poisoned anyone, but I like to think how I’ve used them is a little better for me.

 photo 2015-02-07 09.41.56_zpsyxrjadz9.jpgJust half a teaspoon of jasmine* and a single hibiscus* steeped in hot water (I mean steeped – as in let go cold, fish out the bits and microwave hot again), and you have a amazingly flavoured ‘tea.’  I’ve enjoyed adding a teeny bit of hibiscus to my work water bottle, it adds a subtle flavour that makes drinking water far more enjoyable.

 photo 2015-02-07 09.37.33_zpsvzvbbgrk.jpg photo 2015-02-07 09.38.24_zpslhnompsq.jpgGoing one step further, I’ve found the jasmine makes a wonderful addition to my DIY Radiance Facemask, adding a bit of exfoliation that makes the mask work even better. Roughly chop a teaspoon or so of the flowers (or whizz in a processor), and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Add a little more honey to make it all stick together, and buff onto the face. Rinse off and there you have it – glowing skin, naturally. Just be careful with the turmeric, it stains EVERYTHING.

 photo 2015-02-07 09.30.14_zpsi7zeqj7q.jpg photo eb023105-4250-41be-a361-68e57c1a3935_zpsubki8vyu.jpgAll this being said, my absolute favourite way to enjoy these flowers has been by far the simplest. Just add to a steamy bath. Light some candles. Put on some chilled music. Add a glass of wine, a few chocolates, a good book, and there’s my perfect night in. The flowers add something so special to the bath, a luxurious scent that doesn’t irritate my skin or nose. Just wonderful.

Have you ever tried using flowers in baking or homemade beauty products? Are you a fan of natural ingredients?

Beauty: DIY Brightening Face Mask

I’ve always been slightly averse to chemicals. I hate using bleach and strong cleaning chemicals. One, they hurt my nose (it’s a lot more sensitive now, despite being 15+ months post surgery). Two, I just don’t think they are necessary. There are nicer things that do just a good a job. Same with cosmetics. Obviously I do use chemicals, the majority of things I do use are still high-street bought. But I do try and use natural alternatives where possible. Coconut oil for body moisturising. Deep conditioners of egg, honey and more coconut oil. And now this face mask.

 photo de9eb07c-573d-4495-bbc7-e235a89d129b_zps28cf9bf9.jpgThis is a real weekly treat for the skin, I’ve found its making a visible difference now I’ve used it for a while. The honey moisturises (and is also great for blemishes). The turmeric brightens and adds subtle and gentle exfoliation. Rosewater is a great natural toner, refreshing, as well as adding a lovely scent. I use Steenbergs Organic Rose Water* from Real Foods (a site I love for natural buys!), and I reckon this is the best value I’ve found.

 photo f795e6af-9c29-4fb6-a316-9d2262c8d030_zps4501dddd.jpgMixing up is ridiculously simple. Half a teaspoon of turmeric, a teaspoon of honey, and rosewater to thin slightly. Mix together, apply, and leave for 5-10 minutes. Wash off well. Alternatively, leave the rosewater out and sweep some over skin with a cotton pad after washing the mask off. Be warned though – don’t use this wearing nice clothes. Turmeric stains like hell, which is another reason why you don’t want to leave this mask on too long.
 photo ce1dc4f8-704e-4f77-9982-9f9e327a2a5b_zps94085404.jpg

That’s it. Quick, easy and no nasty unpronounceable chemicals. Do you make your own beauty products, or prefer more natural alternatives?