Monthly Archives: September 2015

DIY Homemade Dead Sea Mud Mask

Image courtesy of gubgib at

Image courtesy of gubgib at

Today is National Mud Pack Day so I thought it appropriate to post a recipe for a detoxifying DIY homemade Dead Sea mud mask. Dead Sea mud is chock full of minerals. Use this once a week and you’ll remain 29 forever. Well, that may be a bit optimistic, but at least your skin will look maaaaaaaaarvelous, dahling.

1/4 cup Dead Sea mud
4 drops of lavender or tea tree essential oils
1 tsp. honey (or calendula extract oil)

Warm the honey a bit so that it becomes more fluid. (If you choose to substitute with calendula extract oil, know that calendula is a wonderful anti-inflammatory.) Mix all ingredients together. Spread all over your face but not too close to the delicate skin under your eyes. Leave the mask on for about 10 minutes. Then, take a warm damp cloth to gently wipe it off. If you have dry skin, follow up with a moisturizer. If you have oily skin, leave well enough alone. Finally, look at your face in the mirror and admire your fine self.

By the way, my experience is that this Dead Sea mud will keep for quite a while in the jar. It will not get “yucky” even though it remains wet. There are minimal bacteria and other nasty things in the Dead Sea. This particular brand also contains natural grapefruit seed extract as a preservative.


Monday Morning Angst

Monday Morning Blues Soap

Monday Morning Blues Soap

Well, it’s early morning on Sunday and it’s already begun:  the Monday Morning Blues have officially commenced. You feel me? There are just certain days that I’d rather dive off a cliff wearing a chum-lined evening gown into shark-infested waters than think about the weekend coming to an end. Here’s how I’m going to deal with it today:

♦ Throw back a pot of coffee
♦ Treat myself to pumpkin pancakes while throwing back said coffee
♦ Decide where I’m going to go for a lonnnnnnnnnnnnng, stress-reducing walk
♦ More importantly, decide where The Husband is going to take me to lunch after said walk
♦ Contemplate going to a local fall festival and buying more things I don’t need
♦Eat too many Kashi chocolate chip/oatmeal cookies (Those are almost like health food though, right?)
♦ Take a relaxing bath (I suppose a glass or 3 of wine might go well with that)
♦ Get lost in a really good book and try to forget for an hour that the impending doom is dangerously close

Once I get to the evening bath ritual, acceptance usually starts to sink in. At that point, a bowl of ice cream is in order. Well, only 5 workdays until the weekend again AND it’s a full moon this Monday. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

In order to shake off the Monday Morning Dread, you might want to give my soap that smells like “weekend” a try. It has that familiar Coppertone-like happy scent. Close your eyes, use the soap, and you’re back at the beach. Just kidding. Call out sick.  Here’s the link.

Happy Day Before Monday Morning Angst!  Enjoy!

Lower-Fat Cheeseburger Casserole Recipe

cheeseburger casserole

cheeseburger casserole

cheeseburger casserole slice

In honor of National Cheeseburger Day, here is my version of a lower-fat cheeseburger casserole. I threw this together one day and, if I do say so myself, it kicks butt. Since I have a habit of not measuring, I’ll do my best with the amounts on the ingredients list. Your kids will love this. It tastes like a McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries–sans the 500 lbs. of fat per mouthful, that is. Okay, here we go:


1 lb lean ground beef
1 can tomato paste
1 large onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 T yellow mustard
2% American cheese slices
salt & pepper to taste
16 oz. jar of small round dill pickles
1.5 lb. steam-in-the-bag Yukon Gold potatoes


Cook onions in a pan with a bit of oil until soft. Add beef and cook until brown. Stir in tomato paste, salt and pepper, ketchup and mustard. Meanwhile, cook the steam-in-bag potatoes in the microwave as per the directions on bag. Cut up cooked potatoes and line a greased 7″ x 11″ pan with them. Add meat mixture. Cover surface with American cheese slices. Bake at 350º F for 20 mins. or so until cheese has melted. Top with pickles and serve.

You’ll want to bring this to your next Super Bowl or tailgate party.


Eggs Benedict Casserole

Eggs Benedict Casserole

Eggs Benedict Casserole

This is not only a company-worthy breakfast but also a great dinner.  I have tweaked this recipe from one I found in a magazine a few years ago. I also don’t add butter and use low-fat or skim milk in the Hollandaise sauce to delude myself about the calorie consumption.  I believe I may have forgotten to add the spinach to the casserole pictured above but, in my defense, I recently turned 50 so what do you expect?


2 pkgs. Hollandaise sauce mix (I think Knorrs brand tastes the best.)
A dozen eggs
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 cups baby spinach
1½ cups cut up Canadian bacon or ham
1.5 lb. steam-in-the bag potatoes (I prefer the Yukon Gold.)
3 sliced plum tomatoes


Prepare the Hollandaise sauce according to the package. (Like I said, I use low-fat or skim milk and omit the butter.) Let the sauce cool and thicken a bit and then whisk it with 2 of the eggs and the rosemary. Meanwhile, microwave the steam-in-the-bag potatoes.  Once the potatoes are cooked, spread them out on the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ pan and mash them a bit with a fork. Mix together the remaining 10 eggs in a bowl with a whisk. Pour the eggs over the potatoes. Lay the baby spinach and the tomatoes on top. Pour the Hollandaise sauce over everything. That’s it! Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in a 350ºF oven and you’re good to go. I often make this the night before and let it sit on the counter for a bit in the morning before baking.

DIY Homemade Caffeine Eye Cream


This homemade eye cream is smooth and rich and contains caffeine for puffiness. This recipe makes a little over an ounce of product and fits nicely in a small jelly jar, small candle jar, or you can recycle a couple of empty eye cream jars.  I prefer to use a couple of lip balm pots or lip balm slider tins for containers. This cream is perfect for the bags ‘n’ sags of 50+ year-old eyes. (Not that I would know; I’m 29 forever, of course.)

.2 – .3 oz. refined beeswax
.1 oz. Vitamin E
.6 oz. calendula oil extract
.3 oz. jojoba oil (or castor oil)
.1 oz. caffeine powder (or a bit less)

Optional:  carrot seed or frankincense essential oils

Melt the beeswax with the oils in a double boiler.  (If you opt to use a microwave, do not use a glass container. It may break.  [Yes, I’ve lived and learned.]) Stir in the caffeine powder and pour into your container(s). I also like to throw in a smidge–just a smidge–of either carrot seed or frankincense essential oils, both of which are healing and regenerative.  If it is not the consistency you prefer, add a bit more beeswax.

I think the caffeine powder helps with puffiness.  I open and use these capsules. (It wouldn’t be practical to walk around with cucumbers on your eyes all day, right? I’m not sure that would bode well at work or school. Besides, you’d develop chronic “neckitis” from tilting your head all day. That’s a topic for another time.)

Calendula oil is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and non-greasy.  Vitamin E is not only nourishing to the skin but is also an antioxidant. It will extend the life of other oils. Skin-soothing jojoba oil and castor oil also have long shelf lives and are all wonderful for the delicate skin under the eyes.

Copyright 2015