• Tropical Vanilla Hydrating Sugar Scrub

    I love doing scrubs on days I have a little bit of extra time when getting ready or before an event.  Scrubs smooth and deeply moisturize the skin and impart a healthy glow.  It baffles me why anyone would go out and pay $65 for scrubs sold in beauty stores when we can make better ones with organic ingredients and no preservatives for under $1 in our own kitchens.  Scrubs can be applied to wet or dry skin (for deeper exfoliation).  You could also apply the scrub before sinking in to the bath and then let the components dissipate in to the bath water.  Ingredients are as follows:

    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • ¼ cup coconut oil (almond oil could work too)
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 3 drops bergamot essential oil (or sweet orange or tangerine)
    • 3 drops vanilla essential oil (usually in a jojoba oil carrier)

    Sugar is a great gentle exfoliator.  Just be sure to use somewhat finely ground stuff.  If you have really sensitive skin, brown sugar works well too.  Really any oil (jojoba, almond, olive, grapeseed) would work in this recipe but the coconut oil gives a really nice scent and has the added benefits of being naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.  Coconut oil is one of the products I always recommend having on hand for kitchen beautician recipes anyway.  The bergamot and vanilla mixed together give this scrub sort of a creamsicle smell and make you instantly feel like you have been transported to someplace tropical.  If you don’t have essential oils, don’t worry about it.  You could also try putting in a teaspoon of orange juice.

    If you do this scrub in the shower, take care because the oil can make the shower floor a little bit slippery.  This recipe should make enough scrub for about three uses.

  • Coconut Water Vampires

    Microfiction by Emily Ness

    Once upon a time, when the dark ages ceased to be so as a result of electricity and democracy and political correctness, all of humankind evolved.  Each of them traded in their armor and swords and lanterns for bicycle helmets and streetlamps that were paid for by a handsome cut taken right out of their corporate salaries.  These funds were hardly missed, as all transactions had become electronic, no gold or silver or trades backing their value.  Even after these cuts, there was enough left over for the drones to stuff their maws with an abundant source of fake food sold in brightly colored crinkly packages.  As these changes took places, a desperate change began to take place in those that relied upon the people as a food source as well – the vampires.  The blood source was tainted and no longer pure.  What’s more, the vampires began to have no cover of darkness due to the nights being constantly lit by crackling electricity.

    It is in this climate that we find two remarkable characters fighting to defend what the latest evolutionary paths seem to have destined for their kind.  So begins the story of the vampires who began to have to depend upon the only reliable source of an isotonic beverage- coconut water.  This coconut water was in abundant supply at natural and organic grocery suburban grocery store chains across the nation.

    Over the years, the strongest survived and the vampires adopted a very peculiar evolutionary mutation.  Due to the extraneous lights that found its way into every dark corner, the vampires that moved amongst the daylight began to thrive.  And they began to prey.  And they began to lurk among these brightly lit residential shops where their life-sustaining material waited, displayed tantalizingly, such easy access.  And the vampires were so thirsty, so very thirsty.  Their thirst had not been quenched for some time.

    “I’m going in,” declared Rainbow Flash, his large hand crossed determinedly across his heart that was leaping with pride under his orange jumpsuit.  He smiled encouragingly at Peacock Fangs.  “It’s not only because I’m thirsty as hell, but it’s for the good of our people.”  He blithely pulled his whip out of its holster and threw it underhand, the tip of its tongue finding the midpoint of the streetlamp between him and the balcony over the soccer practice rush hour below.  He launched and flipped and landed without hesitation on the coconut water truck heading into the loading dock area.

    “Right ON.  Right ON,” yelled Peacock Fangs.  He bit his yellow Lycra gloves and looked skyward, his heart swelling with pride at the success of his vampire clan and his special friendship with Rainbow Flash.  His unit sputtered to life.

    “Peacock Fangs.  We have a potential unattended victim.  Do you read me?”

    Peacock Fangs unharnessed his unit and brought it to his lips.

    “Rainbow Flash. You must redirect the palette or life-sustaining nectar to headquarters by any means necessary.  If you detect any purity in the driver’s blood, detain him, as he may be necessary to completing the mission to deliver the product to the clan.”

    Peacock Fangs felt a surge of arousal as he imagined the gray uniformed driver and his muscles, trembling as a result of being overworked by pumping weights at the gym and surging with nutritional blood, rich with a diet of dairy and meat and whey protein and wheatgrass.

    His reverie was shattered by static on his unit and the threads of his imagination shattered like glass.

    “The coconut water driver interrupted me trying to drive away with his load of nourishment!” cried Rainbow Flash.  “I did the only thing I could do, Peacock Fangs.  I’m so sorry.”

    The coconut water truck driver lay quietly in the street, the back of his thick brown hair sticky with blood, his large arms splayed and two small holes at his jugular.  A Golden Retriever that had escaped its fenced yard was lopping his way toward him with a vacant look.

    “He could have done it the easy way or the hard way, Rainbow Flash.  You did what you needed to do for the people.  Pick me up in the coconut water truck in the designated meeting spot and we’ll take you home where we’ll make you a peppermint bath and float some candles in it. Good job, Rainbow Flash.  Our people will live.”

    He smiled adoringly.