Posts Tagged ‘Alcohol’

Nothing says “I love you” and “screw this whole Black Friday mess”  like putting the time and effort into hand-making a gift or holiday decoration.  Why go to a big box store and buy something that everyone else will have under their tree this year? Instead, grab your power tools, sewing box, and craft kit, throw some spiced cider on the stove, and get ready to create a little holiday cheer!

Tree for all – When celebrating the magic of Christmas, show a little love to your floral family by sparing the tree this year. If you are still pining for the smell of pine, pick up a potted tree to spruce up your home, and start the tradition of planting you new friend in the garden or park after Christmas. If you are a little short on cash, arrange your books into the shape of a tree in your shelves, or construct a faux fir from recycled cardboard and bottles. For those living in close quarters, wall stickers and frames make for a space-saving and attractive 2D tree. Even an old ladder from the garage can create an excellent frame for lights and ornaments!

For the light show, consider using low-energy, efficient LEDs. Not only do they shine brightly in a myriad of different colors, but they don’t kick out as much heat or waste electricity. Consider putting them on a timer to shut them off while you sleep and wait for Santa.

Spirits of the Season- Concoct your own top-shelf flavored alcohol this season with easy at-home recipes. Depending on how savvy you are around the still, it may be best to buy a base such as rum or vodka from the store and add ingredients to infuse into the booze. Favorites include Limoncello, Mocha Cream Liqueur, and Sangria.  For the infused liqueurs, make sure to start ahead of the holidays, as some require some time to marinate in the bottle. When finished, present a bottle as a gift, crack it open at your next gathering, and count the minutes until your crazy uncle dons a light-shade for a hat.

Deck the Halls- The closest thing that those of us on the Central Coast will get to snow is making our own from paper and scissors. For some really professional-looking snowflakes, check out these amazing patterns, perfect for all of your recycled scrap paper or old catalogs. Office cooler cups can be arranged to make some pretty stunning, snow-white stars, and you can never beat the classic cotton ball for a fluffy drift. (Bonus points if you use organic cotton!) Reclaimed wood, screws, and old ribbon can make a simple and attractive patterns for five or six pointed stars, and even old PVC pipes can be repurposed into s surprisingly lovely holiday wreath.

 

Nothing says “I love you” and “screw this whole Black Friday mess”  like putting the time and effort into hand-making a gift or holiday decoration.  Why go to a big box store and buy something that everyone else will have under their tree this year? Instead, grab your power tools, sewing box, and craft kit, throw some spiced cider on the stove, and get ready to create a little holiday cheer!

Tree for all – When celebrating the magic of Christmas, show a little love to your floral family by sparing the tree this year. If you are still pining for the smell of pine, pick up a potted tree to spruce up your home, and start the tradition of planting you new friend in the garden or park after Christmas. If you are a little short on cash, arrange your books into the shape of a tree in your shelves, or construct a faux fir from recycled cardboard and bottles. For those living in close quarters, wall stickers and frames make for a space-saving and attractive 2D tree. Even an old ladder from the garage can create an excellent frame for lights and ornaments!

For the light show, consider using low-energy, efficient LEDs. Not only do they shine brightly in a myriad of different colors, but they don’t kick out as much heat or waste electricity. Consider putting them on a timer to shut them off while you sleep and wait for Santa.

Spirits of the Season- Concoct your own top-shelf flavored alcohol this season with easy at-home recipes. Depending on how savvy you are around the still, it may be best to buy a base such as rum or vodka from the store and add ingredients to infuse into the booze. Favorites include Limoncello, Mocha Cream Liqueur, and Sangria.  For the infused liqueurs, make sure to start ahead of the holidays, as some require some time to marinate in the bottle. When finished, present a bottle as a gift, crack it open at your next gathering, and count the minutes until your crazy uncle dons a light-shade for a hat.

Deck the Halls- The closest thing that those of us on the Central Coast will get to snow is making our own from paper and scissors. For some really professional-looking snowflakes, check out these amazing patterns, perfect for all of your recycled scrap paper or old catalogs. Office cooler cups can be arranged to make some pretty stunning, snow-white stars, and you can never beat the classic cotton ball for a fluffy drift. (Bonus points if you use organic cotton!) Reclaimed wood, screws, and old ribbon can make a simple and attractive patterns for five or six pointed stars, and even old PVC pipes can be repurposed into s surprisingly lovely holiday wreath.

 

Carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, eye and lung irritants, dangers to reproductive and cardiac systems, headaches, dizzines, neurological damage.  Sound like the warning label on a household solvent or barrel of toxic waste?  Nope, just the possible side effects of just some of the ingredients in the cosmetics and personal care products currently on the market.

While regulated by the FDA, compounds such as formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, alcohol, dimethicone, petroleum, artificial dyes and animal-derived ingredients still make their way into what we slather onto our bodies.  EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database allows consumers to search and rate the toxicity, bioaccumulation, occupational hazards and overall danger of the brands they find in stores.  Yet, why spend all that time agonizing what should be something we use to feel good about ourselves and our appearance?  Instead, let someone else sweat over the details.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics crafts is a professional beauty line made from 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free ingredients.  In an effort to maintain quality and align themselves with safety and animal rights issues, OCC has pledged to “raise the bar” concerning the formulation of its products.  They remain convinced that natural alternatives exist and are as effective in brightening an eye or rouging a lip as the chemicals used in other brands.  With full palettes of eye shimmers, lip shades, tinted moisturizers, air brush foundations, mixing mediums, nail polish and application tools, OCC does not sacrifice variety for excellence.

For more  beauty recommendations, browse Bambu Batu’s article on green beauty alternatives!

Bamboo is the grass that just keeps on giving.  Now, in addition to sheltering, clothing, and feeding us, this magnificent plant can also provide us with a healthy buzz.  If you are searching for something new and exotic to spice up your happy hour, you need look no further than this magnificent plant.

Traditionally Tipsy- “Zhuyeqing jiu”, produced in China, is a sweet liquor made from bamboo leaves, which gives the liquid a yellowish green color.  It is brewed for a number of herbal medicines, and ranges from 38-46% in alcohol content.  “Jugyeopcheongju” is a traditional Korean liquor also made with the leaves of bamboo.  Throughout Asia, wine is made from fermented bamboo and other sugary carbohydrates and housed in the nodes of the plant.  Some varieties of rice wine are infused with the juice of the grass and once sealed inside the stalk, absorbs more of the bamboo’s liquid.

The Bamboo Cocktail-  A variation of the martini, the Bamboo Cocktail was created during the later half of the nineteenth century at the Grand Hotel in Yokohama, Japan.  The drink combines vermouth, sherry, orange bitters, Angostura aromatic bitters, a twist of lemon, and an olive for decoration.  Extra points for serving the cocktail in a bamboo drinking vessel.

Helping Hands-  Even when not the main player, bamboo is an important supporting actor in the production and presentation of alcohol.  To produce Indian Jack-fruit wine, the pulp of the fruit is soaked, the seeds removed, and ground in bamboo baskets to extract the juice.  The juice is later transferred to earthen jars and fermented. Bamboo wine bottle racks and holders are currently en vogue, and whether it is woven, compressed, or fashioned from the entire stalk of the grass, the material makes for a stylish way to cradle your distilled delights.

Tiki Time-  What would a backyard Polynesian retreat be without the bamboo tiki bar?  Bambu Batu is home to several styles of bars and patio sets that are certain to make you feel as though you are on your own private tropical island.  Add a fashionable surf cutting board for garnishes, bamboo tongs to handle the ice cubes, and bamboo kitchen towels for cleanup, and you are set to entertain like a pro.

Whether fermented or furniture, bamboo is the life of the party!

 

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