If you know me, you know I love food. Thusly, when I’m given the chance to review any book with the potential to end with food, I’m there! That brings us to today’s review of “The Hearth Witch’s Kitchen Herbal: Culinary Herbs, for Magic, Beauty, and Health” by Anna Franklin.
“The Hearth Witch’s Kitchen Herbal” is nice because it focuses on ingredients that most people already have in their kitchen. Franklin gives a nice overview of each herb including its planetary associations, elemental correspondences, magical virtues, and associated deities. She goes on to talk about how to use the herb for cooking, cosmetics, and healing. The best part is at the end of each entry is recipes! And why yes, I did try one.
The internet is all about turmeric these days, so I decided to try making “Golden Milk”. It didn’t require too many ingredients. (Sadly, the recipe called for cinnamon, which I didn’t have at the time.)
Warm coconut milk with spices. Steep. Strain. Stir in honey. Enjoy! It tasted pretty good. I bet it would have been better with the cinnamon…
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Here in New York we’re still in the cold, dark, grip of winter. As I type this, I’m waiting to see what happens with the next winter storm rolling through. Piled under blankets while listening to the fireplace makes me feel this is the perfect time to share my review of “The Witch’s Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit” by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. You may remember the author from the interview I did with her not too long ago.
Murphy-Hiscock states the goals of self-care as “healthy mind, healthy body, and healthy spirit.” At the beginning of the book she offers the simple definition of self-care as “self-care is any activity you do deliberately to take care of your mental, emotional or physical health.” She goes on to explain that the concept of self-care is compatible with magic “because magic is about listening to what’s inside you and the messages the Divine and nature have for you.” “The Witch’s Book of Self-Care” is truly proof of this because I feel it would appeal to people who practice magic looking for ideas for self-care, AND people who practice self-care looking to explore magic.
She divides the book into mental and emotional self-care, physical self-care, spiritual self-care, and household self-care. Contained within those chapters you’ll find diverse ideas ranging from a recipe for pot roast to affirmations to directions for making your own body butter. Seriously, this book has a little something for everyone.
If you’re like me, looking out a window into a cold, stormy winter, could I suggest “The Witch’s Book of Self-Care” to help fill the rest of the season?
If you follow The Magical Buffet on Instagram (You do follow The Magical Buffet on Instagram, right?) you know that along with lots of photos of books, tarot cards, and booze, I really enjoy cosmetics and skincare. I have many strong feelings about the political and cultural issues that these items are mixed up in, but I won’t bore you with all of that today. For the moment, just know that mostly the onus is on us, the consumer, to try and buy effective AND safe products. That’s where this do it yourself facial mist comes in.
Just like with the food, the only way to be 100% certain what’s in something is to make it yourself. I can’t take credit for this idea. All credit goes to Renee and her YouTube channel Gothamista. If you have 5 minutes you should really watch her video about this mist.
At its core, this is super simple. It must be if I do it! Using Aloe Vera juice as a base you pour it into a little spray bottle and then add a blend of oils. Close the bottle, shake, and mist on your face, or body, or hair.
My personal blend is mixed to help with acne and signs of aging. Generally I mist it on after I wash my face. I let it soak in and then do the rest of my skincare. My DIY facial mist has the Aloe Vera juice base. I pour it so it mostly fills the spray bottle. Then I add a couple of droppers full of Tea Tree oil, Jojoba oil, Rosehip oil, and sometimes a dash of Argan oil. It has definitely helped tame my acne.
If you’re interested in what kind of oils would be good for you, you should take 12 minutes to watch yet another video from Renee outlining facial oils.
And if you’re interested in skincare you should just subscribe to her channel.
Let’s get ready to rumble folks! It’s Think Before You Pink 2017 and this year is a great campaign. With this year’s campaign, “Knot Our Pink Ribbon”, Breast Cancer Action is taking the original pinkwasher Estee Lauder to task. And as a makeup and skincare enthusiast, I am all for it.
Estee Lauder, along with many other cosmetic/skincare companies, have profited on selling the idea of beauty and vitality, while not being forthcoming with consumers about the components of their products. America’s cosmetic industry is surprisingly under regulated putting the consumer in a position to try and understand exactly what it is they are putting on their skin.
I’m happy to participate in the “Knot Our Pink Ribbon” campaign. Hopefully it will be a signal not just to Estee Lauder, but to all cosmetic and skincare companies that it is time to consider the health of their consumers.