My Kombucha is Square

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As some of you, Instagrammers, have noticed, I started brewing my own kombucha! Wait what? We all thought I hated that stuff!

Back in the day, when I still lived in Russia, I had some American friends over, who had never seen kombucha before! So when they saw it their eyes grew bigger, and bigger, and I think it’s worth mentioning that I didn’t know the English for Kombucha (it was over 10 years ago! give me a break 😉 ) and in Russia we call it Tea Mushroom (чайный гриб). I also have memories of it being nick named the Happiness Mushroom! I guess it’s supposed to bring happiness and good luck to your household! Hey, okay with me 😉

A few years ago when I still nannied for a family in New York City, we were doing kombucha as well, but I hated it. I guess the childhood memories made a deep deep impact! I do remember killing one scoby, but the second one lived 🙂 And I even remember sharing it with someone on freecycle!

What is scoby? SCOBY is an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Other good examples are Ginger beer plant, kefir, mother of vinegar, sourdough – you can read more about it on Wikipedia!

I don’t know what made me try Kombucha a few weeks ago when I was out and about with a friend, I don’t know what made me like it, what made me ask for it on freecycle, what made me drive to Apple Valley after work to get a scoby, but I did all that, and now I have a square kombucha living in my kitchen, if you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that it’s something that should be in a science classroom!

Now everyone brews their kombucha differently, but here is what I do, and I learned that from Jade – the person who shared her scoby with me:

Bring three quarts of filtered water to a boil, and then add a cup of organic sugar and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Then take the pot off the burner and steep four bags of organic tea (2 black & 2 green) for 10 minutes. Then pour the mixture into a gallon size jar and let it cool to 98 degrees (body temp).  Once it reaches that temp add the starter (the liquid that the scoby is in), give a little stir, then add the scoby. Cover it with a white flour sacking cloth, and let it sit for 7-14 days. Metal should never touch the kombucha, so no metal utensils or anything!

I mix green and black tea when I brew my kombucha, it’s no specific brand, just something I pick up at the grocery store, or Marshall’s/TJMaxx – they have great tea variety (sometimes!), I also use regular white sugar, and then it all lives in a square glass jar I bought at Target for $5.99, that’s why it’s actually square! 

Of course we’ve all heard stories about some woman in Iowa, who supposingly died from it, but yet again some people say it helps cure cancer. I know one thing – everyone’s result is going to be different, so give it a shot, and see for yourselves!

Now let’s talk about what I like to put in my kombucha! Let me make it clear though, all the additives go in the glass, not the scoby jar!

Lemon juice has so far been my top choice!

I did try adding spinach/cucumber juice to it, and it tasted okay, but I wasn’t a fan! 

I do like to add cranberry to it though! That is super yummy!

Let me know if you like kombucha, tried it, hate it, whatever your opinion is – please DO tell! 

Happy Monday everyone! 

Xo,

Z

PS. If you are in the Twin Cities area and would like a scoby, let me know!

 

TAG: My Weird Beauty Habits

Hey everyone, how are you? Out of all the possible posts that I can do today, I decided to do this one, and the fact that it’s 4 am and I am awake, speaks for itself! So please forgive me if this post gets a little bit weird, and my mind starts drifting away.

Alright, weird beauty habit number one: I usually wake up in the middle of the night, right around 3.30 am, like today and go get a drink of water, then of course I go check out my face in the mirror, because I want to see if the beauty sleep is working. Does it work when interrupted though? I guess not, anyways that’s when I put more moisturizer on my face, because I feel like my skin is too dry, and for good measure I put some moisturizer around my eyes too! This is what I currently use for my middle of the night beauty routine:

 

 

 

Weird beauty habit number two is more like a confession – I love samples, and small travel sizes of, well of everything! I have about 6 small containers in addition to full size products on my cabinet, some of it is Estee Lauder, some of it is Bobbi Brown, I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s coming in a cute packaging and preferably free 🙂 I am also a sucker for shampoo and conditioner combos. I think I have enough to last me through the next three months without having to buy anything full size, which I am planning on doing. And just yesterday I sat down behind this exact computer, went on my favorite Sweet Free Stuff and got 3 more shampoo/conditioner combos mailed to me. I also love Aveda samples, that come in those cute little boxes – best thing ever! I think I’ll go get some of those tomorrow!

 

My weird beauty habit number three started at work one day, when I was complaining that my hair was too greasy and I needed to go get some dry shampoo. That’s when I was told that Beautiful body powder from Estee Lauder works just like that and even better. So that’s what I’ve been using ever since. Now if you ever come see me at work and notice pink powder on my clothes, know that it’s my wonderful hair emergency go to!

 

And this is what I use at home:

 

Which leads to weird beauty habit number four: I love freecycling beauty products. That’s where Wind Song Body powder in the picture above came from, it was also brand new, and if anyone wants to know it’s $25 on ebay, I just checked 🙂 And yes freecycle is a hit or miss, but a lot of times it’s the latter. I got a huge box of body washes, lotions, etc. about a month ago. Love it, won’t need to buy a body wash or a body spray for the next two years now! Here is a tip though – always check for expiration date, and if there isn’t one – then smell it, if it smells funny, recycle it. I love recycling my old skin care/make up/beauty packages at the Origins counter, they have bins there, so check your local stores!

 

And my fifth and last weird beauty habit that I can think of for today is actually a weird beauty routine that I do when I work out! Here is what I do:

– Put apple cider vinegar mixed with water and lavender or rosemary essential oils on my hair roots, and scalp,

– then I put coconut oil on my ends, which of course means I am putting coconut oil all over my hair 😉

– pull it all in a bun, go run 2 miles or so,

– all this while doing laundry!

Yup I am that good at multitasking 🙂

(There is a very small workout room in our building right next to the laundry room, so I am kind of killing two birds with one stone, three depending on how you look at it 🙂 )

 

Okay now that you’ve read this post, you’ve all been tagged, so write your own post like that, or simply leave me a comment, I am dying to hear what everyone’s weird beauty habits are 🙂

And don’t do what I do, don’t write a blog at 4 am 🙂 It’s already 4.40 now, I got side tracked looking up stuff on freecycle 🙂

Lots of love,

Zhenya

Some Skin Care tricks I learned in Russia!

We all want our skin to look amazing! Especially on our face, because today’s world is all about looks! You don’t get no good job if you are ugly! I know how cruel it sounds, but it’s true.

I have recently subscribed to a YouTube channel, well several channels to be exact and they all belong to so-called beauty gurus! BS? Maybe, but it’s fun to watch. My fav ones are Azeri sisters from Toronto! I have mentioned them in one of my previous posts, so please check it out & send the girls some love!

http://www.youtube.com/user/EverythingLuxy

Anyways, here are some products and some tricks that I learned while living in Russia!

1. Birch (or any Tar) Soap.

Costs less than a dollar, perfect for your skin, but the smell – well, you can get used to it! This is an American equivalent (though it’s pine tar, not birch)

2. Clay.

This is an amazing treatment for problem skin, you can use it on the entire face or on different parts of your face, or directly on the blemishes. Clay enriches your skin with minerals and other vitamins. My advise is – keep that clay moist, because when it dries, it really pulls on your skin! There are different kinds of clay that serve different purposes. For example:

White clay is perfect for oily skin, it helps fight the oil build-up. Don’t use it if you have dry skin, because white clay will over dry it.

Gray clay moisturizes and serves as a toner, it is also a great detox for the face and for the entire body!

Blue clay cleanses, whitens, helps fight acne, disinfects skin, removes dead skin cells. It also stimulates hair growth!

Yellow clay is great for aging skin. But it’s also great for cellulite treatment, and acne treatment.

Green clay is used to fight oily skin, greasy hair and dandruff.

Red clay enriches your body with iron.

Pink clay is a mix of white and red, is used for a delicate skin care routine, as well as in some shampoos for normal hair.

Black clay helps fight cellulite, and also promotes weight loss!

This is what it looks like:

And here is an American equivalent:

They sell it at Vitamin Shoppe I believe.

3. Herbs.

If you are following my blog, you know that I gave up coffee and tea for a week, instead I am mixing my own herbal teas. I buy them at a drug store, super cheap, that’s what they look like:

 

Now I don’t really know where to buy those in the States, so feel free to leave comments and tell me : )))))

Those herbs are also great to make hair rinses. The one I use is made from burdock root!

I hope you enjoyed my little post about Russian remedies, treatments and such! Try them out, tell me how they worked for you! I do those almost every day!

Xoxo

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