Tag Archives: Better Beauty

Speculaas, SCD Legal, Grain, Dairy, Egg and Gluten Free – Gift Ideas, Winter Self Care and Clean Beauty Lip Swaps!

Are you ready to bake Christmas cookies? These are Grain, Gluten, Egg and Dairy Free and SCD Legal.

Speculaas have been baked as far back as the 15th century in the Netherlands and Germany, but over the years their popularity has spread to many other countries. They are definitely associated with Christmas and were embossed with images of Saint Nicholas and were delicious cookie treats gifted to children.

This recipe for Speculaas is Grain, Dairy, Gluten and Egg Free to accommodate many, and they are SCD Legal. The cookie is absolutely delicious, and the warming spices make this a holiday cookie to be loved and made over and over. They are a perfect treat with a cup of tea! I can’t wait until cookie time to have these lately.

If you don’t have a Speculaas and Springerle roller, you can still make these cookies with an embossed cookie cutter, or just roll them out and cut them into pretty shapes like you would a sugar cookie. But these can be made the traditional way with a roller like I did. This is where I got my Speculaas Rolling Pin. There are also some really pretty ones here.

Here’s the recipe:

Speculaas

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups of Raw Cashews

1/2 Cup of Tahini

1/4 Cup of Runny Honey

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

and the following warm spices that make the traditional Speculaas flavor:

1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon of Cloves

1/8 Teaspoon of Ginger

1/8 Teaspoon of Ground Anise

1/8 Teaspoon of Cardamom

Directions:

In a food processor, grind the cashews until finely ground. Add the spices, baking soda and salt and pulse until thoroughly combined. Now add the tahini, honey and vanilla extract and process until thoroughly blended stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

Gather up your dough and pat it out on a piece of plastic wrap into a 4 x 6 rectangle. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate for one hour.

After one hour, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and lay out a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Take our your refrigerated cookie dough and place it between two sheets of parchment. With a regular rolling pin, roll the dough between the parchment out to a little less than 1/2 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of parchment, and straighten up your sides with your hands to make a rectangle. Now, take your Speculaas rolling pin and roll with medium pressure across the dough. I did this in two rows. You will get the feel for how much you need to press. This will spread your dough a little more as you roll and also emboss the cookie dough. It doesn’t need to be perfect. With a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, score the cookie dough also trimming the outer sides, but not moving the cookies.

Bake in your preheated oven for 14 minutes or until deeply golden brown, but not burned. I like to start checking after 12 minutes.

Take the baked cookies out of the oven and while still warm, run your pizza cutter or sharp knife down the scored lines again to separate the cookies. Let them cool completely on the cookie sheet. Store in an airtight container after cooled.

If you need some holiday shopping ideas and winter self care, here is a list of some of the things my family loves!

Some of our favorite things!

The cutest comfy nightgowns The sheep are adorbs!

A beautiful Matcha Tea Gift Set

Elderberry Syrup for Immunity

Magnesium Body Lotion for Better Sleep, More Magnesium, Aches and Pains (scent free)

For the little children:

Super Cool Train Set

Unicorn Chair for the Little Princesses

Rainbocorns are very popular in the elementary age crowd right now.

Beautiful Dog Collars for the Pups. Ming has the red one.

Also, giving the gift of clean beauty is always a wonderful way to show your love and appreciation for someone and switch to safer products. Do you have a lip wear preference? I like to wear something on my lips to protect them, give me a color pop, shimmer or shine and take good care of my lips. If you’ve ever had chapped lips, you know how uncomfortable that is. Beautycounter lip products are all GLUTEN-FREE, nut-free, soy-free & vegan AND are tested 3 times for safety from hormone disrupting chemicals and heavy metals. BC lips are my favorite of all time, not just safer – they’re so hydrating and not sticky! Here’s some more helpful info when choosing a lip product:

Clean Lip Products that are Gluten Free!

The Jellies shimmer and shine and fit right into your pocket. They are a cushy, non-sticky gloss. They come in duos of Sorbet & Peppermint, Orange Cream & Honey, or Raspberry & Cocoa.

Beyond Gloss delivers shimmer (if you pick a shimmer shade) and shine with sheer clean color. I LOVE that is has Responsibly sourced vanilla: ECOCERT-certified organic vanilla from Madagascar is responsible for this gloss’ signature sweet scent. Our supplier is committed not only to sourcing the highest quality of vanilla, but also to improving the quality of life for their community of farmers.

Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick is creamy and buildable with the conditioning benefits of a balm, so it gives you color with the benefits of a balm. Again with that Responsibly sourced vanilla that smells so darn good!

Color Intense Lipstick is a long wearing lipstick with a satin finish with natural peppermint oil. My current favorite is 9 to 5, but I can’t wait to try some other shades too. A definite Date night or Dress Up lipstick, or if you like a matte look.

You can shop Beautycounter with me here: https://www.beautycounter.com/sandrashields

I’d love to help you switch to safer, and every time I can be of service helping someone switch to safer, I do a little jazzy hands, happy dance!

As always, I love to hear from you! Drop me a comment below and touch base. Have a wonderful holiday season!

xoxo

Decadent Chocolate Truffles, Fall Vibes and Color Palettes from Beauty Counter

I don’t think we need a season change to enjoy decadent chocolate truffles, but for some reason the beginning of October always has my mind going toward thoughts of them.

This recipe is nut, dairy, grain and gluten free and melt in your mouth.

They are sweetened with Maple Syrup and Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips which is my go to chocolate chip because the are allergen friendly.

Decadent Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips

1/3 Cup of Sunflower Seed Butter

1/4 Cup of Cocoa Butter (chopped into small pieces) This is my preferred brand.

2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/8 Teaspoon of Salt

1/4 Cup of Cocoa Powder (reserved for rolling)

Directions:

In a double boiler, place the chocolate chips and the cocoa butter. I make my own double boiler by placing a small saucepan with an inch of water on the stove and using a stainless steel bowl that fits on top without touching the water. If you are using this, the chocolate chips and cocoa butter go in the bowl above the simmering water like a double boiler to melt it.

Melt the chocolate chips and cocoa butter over simmering water. When they are completely melted, whisk in the remaining ingredients except the cocoa powder until smooth and glossy.

Place the bowl of chocolate into the refrigerator for a half an hour to cool enough for scooping.

When the truffle mixture is ready to scoop, get a small plate and add the cocoa powder to it. With a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the truffles one at a time onto the cocoa powder and roll them around until evenly coated with cocoa powder. Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. When all the truffles are rolled let them set for 30 minutes. Then they are ready to eat. Store them at room temperature.

Makes approximately 15 decadent truffles

So, are you feeling those Fall vibes? I am! There’s a little nip in the morning air, the leaves are changing, a hint of wood smoke around town, and pumpkins everywhere! We even have a house down the hill from us decorated to the hilt for Halloween already. It is quite well done. We were walking Ming a few nights ago, and I had to pull my daughter, Skyli, back from walking into the road because she was looking at all the details of their yard. Do you have a favorite fall color? Rich plums, warm browns, coppers, dark greens, burgundy, black…. I like them all, but my favorites are the coppers and rich plums for sweaters, jackets and bags. Give me a black pair of boots any day.

Have you checked out the eye palettes at Beauty Counter? The one shown here is the classic palette with warm nudes and neutrals using clean safer beauty ingredients. I’m wearing it in the photo below along with the Illuminating Cream Highlighter in Pearl Glow and Bronze Glow. The Sheer Genius conditioning lipsticks come in ten shades and the ECOCERT-certified organic vanilla from Madagascar is responsible for this lipstick’s signature sweet scent. Pick a blush, highlighter or bronzer for your cheeks and you are set with your new Fall into Winter look! You can get those in creams like I used here or silky smooth triple milled powder.

Fall Vibes
Here’s the Classic Palette on my eyes

You can save ten percent off your first order too. When you go to Beauty Counter and sign up for emails you will get a coupon code sent to you. You’ll also get a little something special from me when you order and choose me as your consultant.

All Beauty Counter ingredients are rigorously screened for toxins and contaminants. We all deserve to know when we use skin care and makeup that we are safe. I hope your Fall is going well so far.

How I’m Cleaning Up My Beauty Products and Why

Good Morning! I have taken on a new endeavor and am really excited about it! My goal is to educate, provide recipes and healthy living tips to improve the lives and health of as many people as possible because you all deserve it and it makes people feel great, and that in turn makes me feel good to spread health and happiness. I’ve been on my own health journey as well and know how important it is to take care of all aspects of our lives.

I believe you deserve to feel good and look good using products that are safe and promote your health. I value clean beauty products and have been striving to have my home be as toxin free as I can. When we know better, we do better, and it’s certainly been a journey for me.

One of the things I love about Beauty Counter is they are passionate about making a change for cleaner beauty by being involved in changing the laws so there is more transparency and honesty in what is being put in products that we use on ourselves and our families. Currently the FDA doesn’t regulate the beauty industry. That means a lot of bad stuff can be in what we use without any disclosure. Our skin is our largest organ, and we absorb what we put on it. Beauty Counter is completely transparent and has an 1,800 list of toxic ingredients that they NEVER use. You can also look all their products up on EWG Skin Deep, and they are all rated very safe. You can find EWG here. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ Beauty Counter products are verified which means when you see the EWG VERIFIED™ mark on a product, you will know that the product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health. This is a great resource to research products you are currently using including household products.

You can take a look at Beauty Counter products here to see why I’m so excited. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I am happy to answer you, and if I don’t know the answer, I will find out for you.

https://www.beautycounter.com/sandrashields

I’ve been thinking about what to share first about Beauty Counter, and my favorite color intense lipstick seemed a good starting point. I am on my second tube of the shade 9 to 5. Here’s my before and after pics of the shade on me. I put a graphic below to show how the shades look beautiful on all skin tones. Beauty Counter tests for heavy metals in all their products so you aren’t putting them on your body or in your body as you can with anything you put on your lips and skin. This lipstick comes in a twist up tube in 8 different shades from neutrals to statement red! It has jojoba to moisturize, soothe and condition. My lips never feel dry with this, and you get color with just one swipe. Carnauba Wax gives you hydration and a very subtle shine. This lipstick is long wearing. There is natural peppermint oil in it for a subtle refreshing flavor. It is gluten free, certified vegan and cruelty free. ♥️ When you go to the link to Beauty Counter above, you can sign up for email and get 10% off your first order.

Bare lip before applying 9 to 5

What kind of makeup demos would you like me to do?

9 to 5 Color Intense Lipstick comes in a twist up tube

The shades of color intense on different skin tones

I look forward to sharing more about Beauty Counter and other healthy home and living tips with you soon. Stay tuned for more …..and more recipes coming too as always!

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