Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Happy Monday beautiful! I hope you had a fantastic week. I know Beautiful Basics is a beauty blog but today is going to be a little different because I'm going to be sharing a recipe for muffins. They're not just any muffins though, they're truly delicious, and healthier than other options. I made them last weekend and they were gone by the next morning, because everyone loved them so much. I figure since Thanksgiving in the U.S. is on Thursday now would be the perfect time to share my treats!

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups sugar (I used 1 ½ cups of white and ½ brown but you can use whatever you want – including raw or a sugar substitute)
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup of vegetable oil
¼ cup of applesauce
1 cup of fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries (I used Craisins, but if you use fresh or frozen you'll want to chop them up)

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together and then add the pumpkin and oil – make sure to mix very well. Next you'll combine the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until moistened. Now it's cranberry time! You need to gently fold in the cranberries so they don't get broken down and mushy. Fill your lined muffin cups ¾ of the way full and stick your muffin pan in the oven. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. I then dusted the muffins lightly with powdered sugar, but you can skip this part if you'd like!

I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Talk About It - Rand Hill Naturals

It is no secret that I love honey. I also love natural skin care and cosmetics as well as my home state – Oregon. What do you get when you combine all three things I just mentioned? You get an Oregon based natural skin care company who makes honey facial care products (in addition to other products) called Rand Hill Naturals.

Randie Hill started to develop sensitivities to traditional products in the mid 90's but couldn't afford the hefty price tags of natural products so she decided to create her own. Her goal now is "to create a line of unique and effective products that incorporate plant based ingredients in their simplest, most unrefined form." All Rand Hill Natural products are pure and safe, free from any artificial ingredients like color, fragrance and preservatives. They are also very affordable!

I was lucky enough to get to try the Complexion Essentials, which includes a cleanser, a cleansing mask and a serum. All 3 products feature raw and unfiltered honey, essential oils (including Lavender, Rose Geranium, Orange, Neroli & Grapefruit), and other natural skin beneficial ingredients.

First up is the Daily Facial Honey Wash, which is a really great cleanser for any skin types (except those allergic to honey, of course) because it's so gentle. It smells amazing; like honey with a touch of citrus mixed in. It has the exact consistency of honey so it doesn't produce foam or anything that other facial cleansers may do but it's just as efficient if not more so. It's non-sticky and spreads easily across the skin. I massage it onto my damp skin and rub gently in small circles until I'm ready to rinse. It rinses off so effortlessly and leaves skin feeling comfortable and healthy. I feel like it really keeps my skin looking clear and it also brightens. It makes my face feel fresh and fit.

Once a week I use the Honey Oatmeal Cleansing Mask, but I use it as a facial scrub instead of a mask. You all know how much of an obsession I have with scrubs and this particular one has made it onto the favorites list. It smells like floral-y citrus and makes my skin look radiant. I'm obsessed with this scrub! I particularly like to use this when I've had a long day or worn a lot of makeup because it gets deep down into each and every little pore leaving them shiny and new thanks to the exfoliating oatmeal powder. I do occasionally use it as a mask, but I prefer it as a cleansing scrub. It's very hydrating and improves the condition of my skin.

The last product were going to talk about is the Ultimate Face Quenching Serum which is made up of Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E, Tea Tree and Rose Geranium essential oils. A lot of people are afraid of using oil to moisturize their skin but this serum is incredibly lightweight yet conditioning. It absorbs almost instantly and leaves skin feeling softer than you could even imagine without being the least bit greasy. The smell of this is a bit strong, but it's tolerable and dissipates within about an hour. Its great for morning and evening use and really plumps up and smoothes skin.

If you're interested in checking these products (or other Rand Hill Naturals products) out for yourself you can visit their website by clicking here. You can purchase online or use the Find a Store tab to see if there are any stores near you that sell these products.

(FTC: These products were so generously provided to me for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, and my own and honest.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Superstar Face and Body Mask

Hi there, beauty! In the past I've shared a lot of things that I love (and shared why I love them so much) and today's DIY Beauty Recipe is made up of 3 of those things on my love list. Yogurt, Honey, and Pumpkin have all had entire weeks dedicated to their uses and why they are beneficial for skin but today I'm combining all 3 to make a super face and body mask.

What you need:

3 tablespoons of puréed pumpkin
3 tablespoons of honey
1/4 cup of yogurt

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and combined. Steaming your face before applying the mask is a good idea but not necessary. Apply the mask evenly to your face, and even your body if you want (it's great for chests and backs). Let the mask sit for anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Don't forget to moisturize afterwards! Your skin should look luminous and rejuvenated.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Seasonal Cinnamon Lip Balm

I'm a lip balm addict, and in the colder months I love anything cinnamon scented and/or flavored so I decided to mix the two together to create a fabulous fall lip balm.

What You Need:

2 tsp. jojoba oil (you could also use sweet almond or olive oil, but I personally prefer jojoba)
1/2 tsp. beeswax
1/2 tsp. cocoa butter or coconut oil
1/2 tsp. honey
3 drops cinnamon essential oil
1 vitamin E capsule

Heat the oil, butter and beeswax in a water bath over medium heat until beeswax is completely melted with stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add honey and cinnamon oil. Open the vitamin E capsule and add it to the mixture. Stir well to make sure all of the ingredients have combined.

When it's finished just pour the mixture into containers. I use little screw-top pots that I buy at Wal-Mart. Let it cool until solid and you're ready to moisturize and treat your lips to a soothing treat. Enjoy!