Dasha: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things #3 (And They’re Not All Beauty Products!)

19 Jun

Summer is here! I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying leaving the house wearing only one layer of clothing, going for walks and not getting frostbite, going to the farmer’s market, and being able to sit outside and enjoy a nice dinner. Of course, summer also means intolerable humidity here in Minnesota, swarms of mosquitos and truly insane road construction, but I’ll take it.

I have a LOT of favorite things right now, almost all of them summery! (As always, I have to disclaim that I’m not being compensated for any of these reviews)

Crispin Cider

I never thought I liked hard cider. I’d only ever had Strongbow and to me it tasted like carbonated apple juice. The cheap kind. But I’ve changed my tune now that I’ve tried Crispin. They make ciders that are drier and more adult-tasting than the traditional British kind. Delicious. Crispin also has an artisanal line of ciders and I’m telling you, the Honey Crisp flavor will rock your world. It’s as complex as many wines, incredibly drinkable, and goes with just about any kind of food. These ciders are a blessing as my husband has become allergic to beer and most wines (the horror!) and he can happily drink Crispin.

Naturalizer Naza Wedges in Dark Venom

Wedges are hot, hot, hot right now. But I’ve been a bit chicken to wear them. I don’t wear high heels in general, thanks to the flattest feet on the planet. I’m terrified that I’ll keel right over in a pair of wedges. These shoes have completely changed my mind. They’re insanely comfortable, go with everything from jeans to dresses, and feel secure (watch me jinx myself and turn an ankle today). They make me six feet tall and feel like I can conquer the entire universe.

DIY Sea Salt Spray

You’ve heard about the brilliance of sea salt sprays like Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray, yes? Basically they’re salt, water and a few other additives. And they’re MAGIC for hair. For those with wavy hair, a few spritzes in your wet hair and you have those beachy surfer-girl waves you’ve always dreamed of. For women like me with stick-straight, fine hair, they magically add enough body that you don’t need to blow dry. Just spray, scrunch and go. The only problem is that stuff is EXPENSIVE. $24.00 for 4 ounces. Ouch. That’s 24 bucks for salt and water. Surely we can do better, right?

Beachy waves on the cheap!

Turns out, it’s easy as pie.

  • Get a generic spray bottle from Target or similar.
  • Add 1 cup (8 ounces) of warm water.
  • Toss in 2 tablespoons of sea salt. Don’t use just regular old salt. 
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil your hair likes, like jojoba, argan or coconut.
  • Optional: Add a few drops of nice-smelling essential oil like vanilla, tangerine or lavender.
  • Shake well and spray.

You’ve just saved a TON of money and you still have awesome hair.

Speaking of pie…

Key Lime Pie

This is the ultimate in summery desserts and it’s so easy that even I can make it and I’m baking impaired. This is the kind of pie you want to eat on the porch as you watch kids run through the sprinkler.


1 premade graham cracker pie shell
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup key lime juice (do NOT substitute regular lime juice–it just doesn’t taste the same. I use Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key Lime Juice and it’s delicious) 
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
Whipped cream (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks.
  • Add the condensed milk and mix well.
  • Whisk in the lime juice and blend well. The mixture should thicken a little.
  • Pour into the pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Let cool for about 20 minutes and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. 
  • Serve and enjoy! It’s very good with whipped cream and I’ve heard rumors that key lime is great with good vanilla ice cream.

Tarte Cheek Stain

Speaking of being baking impaired, I’m also blush impaired. I’ve never been able to wear blush without ending up looking like this:

Powder blush and I just don’t get along. But I’ve discovered that Tarte’s cheek stains are just right for me. They’re very sheer and easy to smooth on the cheeks, giving me a lovely blush (hence the name!) and even the semblance of cheekbones. My favorite color is Blissful, which is a warm peachy-pink (that magically smells like pink lemonade), but there are 8 shades. At $30, it’s not cheap stuff but it lasts forever and you’ll never have to worry about looking like Alexis Carrington Colby.

What are some of your favorite things right now?

13 Responses to “Dasha: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things #3 (And They’re Not All Beauty Products!)”

  1. Jenny Lapham June 19, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Oh! That sea salt spray recipe is going right into my bookmarks. I’m always looking for new stuff to try on my curls.

    • Dasha June 20, 2012 at 11:39 am #

      Let me know how it turns out for you!

  2. icedteainthebag June 19, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    I am in LOOOOVE with this post. Food! And makeup and hair spray and Joan Collins! AND SHOES. Damn, girl. You hit it out of the park.

    Well I’m now fully on board with the Argan Oil. Love it on my hair. I just started putting it on my face last night too and I’m interested to see what the results, if any, will be. But it wasn’t greasy at all, which was a real surprise.

    I’m looking for a paraben-free facial moisturizer. I really like Yes To’s line of Cucumber hair care products and the shower gel, so I might try their moisturizer as well.

    Oh, and WEDGES. I, who usually get a lot of pain in my feet with high heels, can wear 3″ wedges all day long with no problem. There’s something about a more even weight distribution on your foot that makes them so easy. Those shoes are hot!

    • Dasha June 20, 2012 at 11:41 am #

      I’m so glad you like the Argan oil. It’s magical stuff, I swear. Try it for removing eye makeup.

      I’ve heard great things about the Yes To line. I want to try something from Yes To Blueberries since I’m obsessed with all things blueberry.

      Aren’t wedges great? But I’m still super paranoid about spraining my ankle. I once twisted my ankle in a pair of wedges at a work party and ended up skinning both knees. It was super classy.

      LOVE YOU.

      • icedteainthebag June 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

        I’ve found Yes To at Target and my local grocery now (I was buying it on Amazon until I moved to the big city). It smells Sooooooo Goood.

        I love that goat ass oil, bb.

        UGH, skinned knees are almost the worst.

  3. elodieunderglass June 19, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Cider is a great, great blessing to those of us who don’t like wheat. (There’s a surprising amount of people who are allergic to wheat or yeast! Husband is not alone!) And if you happen to live in the West Country region of England, there are a billion ciders to try – sadly, not this one.

    Anyway, I’m going to try out the sea salt whatnot, because I like to break my heart at least once a month over my tragic inability to have good hair.

    • Dasha June 20, 2012 at 11:42 am #

      I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to visit you in England, if only to try the ciders. Lots and lots of ciders.

      Let me know how the spray works out for you. (But I think you have lovely hair…)

  4. drhopsandmrmalts June 20, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    You should give Angry Orchard Traditional Hard Cider a try, I always recommend it to people who prefer dry ciders and they love it

    • Dasha June 20, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      Oooh, I definitely will! I’m making it a summer goal to try as many good ciders as possible. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Zachary June 24, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    i be cook

  6. Mel July 20, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    Can’t wait to try the salt water spray,
    I have everything except the oil,
    I have some fractionated coconut oil (stays liquid) that I used in a recipe for a very effective homemade lice treatment on the kids a few years ago, will that work?

    • Dasha July 20, 2012 at 11:25 am #

      I think the coconut oil would work great. And smell good, too. Let me know how it works for you!

  7. Shelby May 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Thank you so much! I have the Not your Mothers, beach babe sea salt spray, and the recipe you made, is an exact duplicate! It actually works better if you ask me! Great ideas! Have a great summer! Thank you!! 😃

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