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Weekend Recipe 9/14/14: Apple Cider Vinegar

Happy weekend!
First on your weekend to-do list: Pick up some apple cider vinegar (both Bragg and Dynamic Health are two organic brands we’d recommend). Although we advise using with discretion — a full cup of it will not go down well — apple cider vinegar has a myriad of health benefits that make it a fantastic pantry staple. These recipes (our apple cider vinegar health shot and gentle vinegar hair rinse) take advantage of all the good properties of apple cider vinegar, helping facilitate the healthiest, shiniest version of your weekend self. Recipes, below — let us know how you like them!
Apple Cider Vinegar Health Shot
Doesn’t it seem like everyone gets sick when the seasons change? And doesn’t it suck? Well, this may prevent that from happening to you. It’s extremely detoxifying and balancing for your body, kills bad bacteria, supports good bacteria (that makes your immune system stronger), and will even ease symptoms if you’re already sick, including a sore throat and cough. 
1 tsp raw honey (preferably local to you)
1T apple cider vinegar
2T room temperature or warm water
super small pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
small pinch turmeric (optional)
Other optional additions for superpower points:
1 clove mashed garlic
1 tsp coconut oil
the juice of half a grapefruit
Mix honey into warm-ish water first so it melts completely. Then add vinegar and cayenne pepper or any other optional ingredients. Stir well and throw back, cause it ain’t gonna taste pretty. Chase with water or tea. 
Gentle Vinegar Hair Rinse
Vinegar hair rinses can actually be incredibly harsh on your tresses. While apple cider vinegar does clean up gunk and rebalance your scalp, it can leave you dry and sometimes itchy. Here’s a rinse that’s much more gentle, but still incorporates the powerful benefits of apple cider vinegar. Aloe is a super plant, and will make your hair strong, shiny, and luscious. 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup aloe juice or the inside of a leaf
1 cup warm water
Combine the aloe juice and vinegar in a cup before getting in the shower, and wait to add the water until you’re under the warm water, so you don’t freeze yourself. Don’t worry about getting exactly one cup in there, just fill the rest of your cup with water. Tilt your head back and pour straight onto your scalp, carefully avoiding your eyes. Rinse and shampoo after. 
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Hey, Adina!: On 30

Another day, another new S.W. series. We have a feeling you’ll love this one, too, because ultimately you get to decide what it looks like.

Hey, Adina! is our ongoing Q+A session with our lovable and ever-wise founder Adina Grigore. Consider this your invitation to ask Adina (mostly) anything you want, i.e.: How are diet and skin related? How the heck did you start your business? What’s it like working with your husband? What ingredients should I be wary of in my personal care items? 

The new Jay-Z and Beyonce? Adina and Adam!

Each month, we’ll select several questions for Adina to answer and be featured on the blog. You can submit your questions by emailing, or commenting on a Hey, Adina! social media or blog post.
Selfishly, we’re starting with our own question: Hey, Adina! You just turned 30. How do you feel about it? 

Her response, below.

How do I feel about turning 30? I’m going to tell you. But I’m not just going to tell you one way I feel about it. I’m going to tell you 30 ways I feel about it. Most clever, original idea anyone has ever had? Duh, I know that.

1. This feels a lot more neutral than everyone says it should. 
2. Wait, why does everyone say it’s a big deal? 
3. If they say it’s a big deal, it’s probably a big deal. 
4. Shit, now I’m freaking out. I’M SO OLD.
5. My best friend texted me that 90% of my eggs are now gone. I’M SO OLD. 
6. Does that mean I waited too long to have kids, or need to have them like,tomorrow? Because oops I’m not pregnant yet and I’M SO OLD.
7. Wait a second. Life is really long, and some women have babies when they’re way older than me. How come they can do that?
8. How come so many women older than me actually seem just fine about the whole thing?
9. Maybe it’s all fine and I should calm the fuck down. 
10. ALL I wanted in my whole life was to make a 30 under 30 list. I didn’t. 
11. Let me reiterate, it was really ALL I wanted in my whole life. For years. Okay maybe for like a few months. But once I decided I wanted it, I reaaalllllyyyyyy wanted it. I didn’t get it and now it’s over.
12. That sounds so bratty. It’s so magical that I own my own business. And it’s kind of killing it, a little bit. And in that sense, I’m so young!
13. But, I really wanted 30 under 30. 
14. Should I want 40 under 40 now? I guess I’ll decide when I’m… 39.
15. I’d better be so much more kickass by the time I’m 40.
16. By then will all of my eggs be gone?
17. At what age do people get their lives together?
18. I have a business but I don’t have my life together. I don’t even know how to dress.
19. I need to start dressing like a 30-year-old. 
20. How the hell does a 30-year-old dress? I never figured out how to dress as any other age, let alone a real life adult one. Do I need to start reading blogs and shit?
21. I’ll just ask my [younger] sister. She got all the life memos that I didn’t. 
22. Do I qualify as a cougar yet? I really, really want to. 
23. I also want Adam to start calling me his “old lady.” Too soon?
24. I care less each year what people think of me. (Except I want them to go, “man she really dresses like a 30-year-old.”)
25. Being 30 makes me feel like I can suddenly say every single joke I feel like saying to people. And then laugh at it myself. 
26. Being 30 makes me want to hear way more about other people’s lives and experiences. I have a whole new respect for people over the age of 50. Life is so long!
27. Being 30 makes me want to start doing more of what I feel like doing. Like sleeping. And watching Tyler Perry movies. And like, really enjoying sleeping and watching Tyler Perry movies. 
28. Being 30 makes me really appreciate my relationships to other people, especially the people who have been here a long time. And the people who work with me on my crazy business. Cause woah.
29. Being 30 makes me realize that each year gets better, each month gets better, and even each day gets better!
30. Wait, being 30 is kind of badass. 
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Introducing Minimalist Monday

Introducing… another new S.W. series! Minimalist Monday. 

The concept here is as straightforward as it gets: Mondays are hideous. How can we help? Aside from going back in time and deleting the concept of Monday altogether (pause and imagine: all week, as a weekend), we can’t alter the basic suckiness of the first day of the week. 


We can, however, make it a little more bearable by keeping things simple. Come Monday morning you don’t really have the time or energy to deal with “stuff.” You’re trying to make it to lunch, and we get it. 

What we’re offering is this: one thing to be mindful of, experiment with (don’t get any crazy ideas here), or partake in each week. 

Our inaugural post asks you to do something very, very simple (as most of them will, surprise surprise). Sleep five more minutes each morning, all week. Rejoice in the extra – almost – half hour boon of restfulness. If you need inspiration, take a cue from your cat, dog, pantry mouse, or a sloth, because humans are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep (more fun facts like this here). 


High-five to an extra five. Let us know how it goes! 

Images: Mashable, #WhatWeShouldCallMe

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Weekend Recipe 09/05/2014 featuring Siggi’s Yogurt!


Hello out there. My name is Julia (that’s me up there, having a particularly good day way back when). Pleasure to e-meet!

If S.W. Basics represents minimalist skincare, then it’s only fitting that I keep this sweet and simple. Which, given my tendency to ramble, it won’t be. But I’ll try.

I’m the newest member of the S.W. Basics team, here to work on our various communication outlets: the blog, social media, the S.W. Morse code line, etc. I’m very excited to share a lot of the great things that the team has been working on lately, plus reinvigorate the conversation we’ve started with you all. If we’ve been quiet recently, rest assured this: It’s the calm before a brilliant (non-destructive) storm.

On the communications front, we’ll be reintroducing columns like Certifiably Awesome, highlighting people we admire and asking them the burning questions you all need to know (such as who is their naked animal*). We’re also going to be rolling out new features on the blog and on social media over the next several months – from sharing weekend recipes to showcasing beauty on the street.

It’s going to get real, guys. And we’re hoping you’ll love it.

As for me, you ask? (Please ask). Here’s what you need to know: I live in Manhattan (and communicate with Adina and Adam via tin can telephone whose string spans the Williamsburg bridge), I LOVE foxes, I have the musical tastes of a 70-year-old and lament the dying radio culture, I live for the Sunday papers, I drink my coffee with half-and-half and real sugar, my favorite food is toast and jam, I’m a “professional” walker and master napper, and I’m happiest when sitting on a lake, without cell service, crisp lemonade in hand.

So basically, I’m a grandmother in a late-20’s skin.

To get things started, we’d like to introduce a feature we’re calling Weekend Recipe, in which we give you TWO recipes that share ONE ingredient. An ingredient that just so happens to work as a delicious food ingredient, but is also brilliant for a DIY skincare project. Obviously. In the spirit of our love for Siggi’s yogurt, we are featuring them in this Weekend Recipe! And these recipes actually share two ingredients, so we’re really winning here.


Easy Yogurt Mask

You already know the magical properties of our mask and exfoliant, and you’ve maybe heard us say how much we love when people kick it up a notch by adding fancy ingredients like yogurt. But if you don’t have either of those products around, grab some corn flour! Corn flour is really great for drying up excess oil on the skin, and can be very soothing if you are irritated or prone to rashes. Yogurt brightens the skin, and also helps with oiliness, while simultaneously moisturizing you. Plus the probiotics that help your gut are also good for your skin!

1T S.W. Basics hibiscus mask OR exfoliant OR corn flour

1T Siggi’s plain yogurt

This mask is super easy to make, just stir the ingredients together with a spoon. You may decide you want more yogurt or more powder, make it your own. Try to use this up all at once, but you can also save it in the fridge for a couple of days if you want to repeat.

Yogurt Crock Pot Cornbread

(adapted from Simple Nourished Living)

1 cup whole wheat flour

3⁄4 cup corn flour

3⁄4 tsp baking soda

1 1⁄4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 T sugar

Mix all of this in one bowl.

1 large egg

1 cup plain Siggi’s yogurt

1⁄2 cup rice milk or almond milk or normal milk

3T melted butter or melted coconut oil

Whisk egg in a second bowl and stir in yogurt, milk, and melted butter/oil. Add this to the dry ingredients, but only stir until everything is mixed. Grease a crockpot (or a dutch oven) and put in dough, pressing down so it fills the pot. Cook on high (or bake at 300 degrees) for 1.5 hours.

Powering off,


*Oh you don’t know what this is? Allow us to improve your life tremendously. IF posing for naked photos, what animal would you choose to hide your girly/manly parts?


Summer’s here and… umm… well, we’re feelin’ a little stinky! Luckily for us, Adina shared a super easy and all natural DIY deodorant recipe with our friends at The Chalkboard.

Here’s what they had to say:

YOUR SWEAT GLANDS are intact for a reason: it’s natural – and healthy – to break a sweat. And yet, very few of us want to go truly au naturel – with good reason. We’re 100% for going green, but we certainly don’t want to smell it. This recipe from the pros at S.W. Basics can be made at home to keep you smelling right and feeling good too. There are plenty of un-natural ingredients to be avoided in conventional deodorant…

Don’t even start with us about deodorant. If you haven’t switched to something natural yet, you should spend some time doing research today. You’ll never turn back. The key to good deodorant is really only one thing: essential oils that kill bacteria and neutralize odors. That’s it. Don’t fight your body’s natural processes, just use something fresh that makes it better. Witch hazel and aloe are both simultaneously astringent and soothing, and a combo of essential oils will especially fight your (gorgeous and sexy) stink!



    2 Tbsp witch hazel
    1 Tbsp aloe juice
    10-20 drops of essential oil: rosemary, sage or clove


    Mix into a spray bottle and store up to three months.

    It’s best to make fresh batches more often, so start small and try to use within one month.

    Find the original article [HERE].