2013 Good Food Festival

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Monica says:
What a weekend! Instead of doing the same old St. Patty’s day crawl, we decided to take care of our health and attend the Good Food Festival at the UIC Forum. It’s all about Chicago foods, local farmers, composting and environmental friendly practices, organic treats and lots of awesome tastings! These included Chi area tomato sauces, hot sauces, greens, cheeses and milk, and chocolates (Kate gave up chocolate for lent so she seemed a little tortured as I enjoyed my tastings :p).

Here’s a few of our favorite vendors out of over 150 vendors.

Traders Point Creamery, a family-owned organic dairy farm in Zionsville, Indiana used grassfed cows to produce a creamy strained yogurt that tasted so light and fresh! They offer original and honey greek yogurt as well as probiotic drinks, (Raspberry and Banana Mango were featured), BGH free milk and creamy cheeses.

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Kombucha! NessAlla

Kate: Monica and I loved the girls at NessAlla. Both knowledgeable and friendly, their Kombucha came in original flavors like Lemongrass Ginger and the seasonal Red Clover. They also sell kits to make your own Kombucha.

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And lastly, our all-time favorite product was Phoenix Bean a Chicago based company that produces beyond yummy tofu products. This was our second time sampling and we had to buy the spicy mango tofu. It has great texture and delicious flavors of cilantro, chili, garlic and more. You can pop them right in your mouth or add them to quinoa, spinach or other greens for a meal.
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Our stomachs were full and happy when we left.  It’s definitely one of those yearly events that we will make sure to attend and we were told by staff that they are sure to expand next year.

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Scrub Away the Winter Blues

Did It Myself Sugar Scrub

I have a confession to make. It’s been 3 weeks since my last pedicure and my toes could seriously use some scrubbing. I’m on a tight budget this week so I decided to attempt a homemade sugar scrub to keep stress out of my wallet. Here’s what I learned. You need 3 ingredients to make a scrub: the scrubby stuff, an oil, and a fragrance.

Common household items for exfoliants

Scrubby stuff:
Brown or white sugar
Sea salt
Coffee grounds
Oatmeal

Oil:
Sunflower
Coconut
Baby oil
Olive oil

Fragrance:
Any essential oil
Lavender
Vanilla
Camomile

I decided to go the brown sugar route as one of my fave store bought scrubs is Tree Hut’s Shea Sugar Body Scrub.

Here’s my DIM recipe:

Most of these came from Whole Foods.

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3/4 cup organic brown sugar
1/4 cup organic sunflower oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I didn’t have essential oils…here’s hoping I smell like a cookie)
1 teaspoon Baby Hugo Lavender Camomile Bedtime spray

Stir until it looks a little moist but still grainy. Keep the remainder in a closed container to prevent drying out or as I say, crustiness.

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Results!

I got super excited about the quality and went a little crazy with my scrubbing so I used about half the mixture for my shower. It smelled deliciously like buttery cookies, washed off easily and left my skin soft. My boyfriend was impressed with the feel of my skin.

Feeling lazy or looking for something more exotic? Try Chicago natural hotspot Mojo Spa, the place that makes scrubs good enough to eat…think chocolate, pumpkin, cinnamon…cupcakes!

Does anyone else have some scrubs that they’ve successfully made?