A Day at the Orchard

In the spirit of fall and my strong desire to escape the city for a couple of hours, I decided to go apple picking this past weekend. Granted, in the end I never even touched an apple, I still enjoyed my day out in the orchard.

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Apple Ridge Orchard in Warwick, NY was where we spent our day. Here, they have acres upon acres of apple trees, a pumpkin patch, some farm animals and a hayride that goes through the entire orchard. There is a small barn area where they sell delicious apple cinnamon donuts, apple cider, fruit preserves and honey, with a bee farm right next to display, so you know it’s real. Everything is reasonably priced ($1-$8) and for an apple picking bag, $29. In my personal opinion, it’s pretty pricey. But the apples are grown organically and if you have a big family, it may be worth it. Price definitely factored into the reason why we didn’t pick any apples. However, many families, mostly of 3 or more, definitely got their twenty-nine dollars worth, as they should!

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To the side of the orchard, surrounded by beautiful views, there is a small area filled with goats, sheep, cows and rabbits. The orchard sells a bag of hay for just a dollar so that kids can feed the animals. While many were terrified of the farm animals, plenty were more than happy to feed the hay to them. And the animals really enjoyed it.

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At the pumpkin patch, there were too many pumpkins to choose from! Perfect for this time of year, kids were very quick to claim their pumpkin of choice. The pumpkins are a great size to carve, just slightly bigger than a basketball. Also at the pumpkin patch are scarecrows, miniature houses and plenty of photo opportunities.

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My favorite part about the entire orchard was the fact that there were plenty of young kids working there. One at the entrance/exit, marking bags of apples and checking pumpkin tickets. Two young girls collecting tickets for hay rides, two young boys watching the animals (making sure no kids feed them anything funky) and a couple of older kids selling apple bags and tickets.

Traveling to Apple Ridge Orchard on a Sunday afternoon was a complete mission to say the least. If you have a car or have access to one, I 100% recommend you drive up there. From the city, it’s about an hour and ten minutes drive. But by transportation, expect at least a two hour commute. Spending multiple hours on a bus on a beautiful Sunday wasn’t ideal, but it made for great quality time and there is a lot of beautiful scenery along the way.

Would I do this all over again? Absolutely. But next time, I’ll drive!

Protein Packed Hair Masque

Over the years, I have slowly grown to love my natural curls. It took a lot of TLC to get my curls to where they are today, but I want them to be better! Last summer, I did a no heat challenge for 3 months and I noticed that my curls were getting tighter and best of all, I was finally seeing some growth. However, once I started straightening my hair again, (maybe only 5 times the past year), I really neglected my hair’s health.

After much research, I finally found an all natural restoration hair masque that works great for my hair! This is a protein packed hair masque, so you should only use this if your hair is super dry, brittle and if you experience a lot of breakage. Too much protein in your hair can cause your hair to seem limp and straw-like.

Here’s the ingredients you need for this protein packed hair masque and the benefits of each:

  • 1 Avocado: Rich source of proteins, amino acids and vitamins and helps soothe the scalp
  • 1 Egg: The best source of protein for your hair and helps prevent hair loss
  • 1 Banana: Contains a great amount of potassium that helps soften the hair, prevents split ends and breakage
  • Coconut oil: Adds moisture, healthy fats with protein and antioxidants that deep conditions, heal and promotes hair growth
  • Castor oil: Carries Omega-6 which accelerates blood circulation in the scalp resulting in hair growth
  • Honey: Helps regulate and retain moisture

I start by whisking my egg in a bowl and smashing the banana so that it has a mushy consistency. I find that doing this to the banana helps it mix better into the masque. I combine the egg, banana and avocado into a blender and use the ‘Puree’ function and let the blender do its thing for about 45 seconds. Next, I’ll add the coconut oil, castor oil and honey into the blender. I didn’t put any measurements because it truly depends on what you feel your hair needs. This time, I use ‘Liquefy’ until everything is smoothed out.

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This is how the masque should once it comes out the blender

The actual application may be a little messy, so I suggest using an old t-shirt. Part your hair however you’d like, (I usually part in fours) and begin with the section where you feel needs the most care. Apply the masque from tip to root and once you get to the root, massage the section to stimulate your hair follicles. Once the masque is in your hair, leave it in for an hour and be sure to thoroughly wash your hair, then style as usual.

After using this masque, I noticed how much softer my hair became, the definition of my curls and how they appeared to be less frizzy. I’ve been using this masque about every 4-6 weeks and I know it’s going to take me a while to get my hair where I want it to be but regardless, I have been loving the results so far. I hope this masque works out for you too!

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Before Masque
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After Masque

DIY Lip Scrub

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Unfortunately, the cold weather brings us super dry skin. So it’s important that we stay moisturized, right? Our lips are one of the most sensitive parts of our skin and needs a lot of TLC. Aside from keeping your lips hydrated all winter long, it’s important to get all that dry skin off. Here is my absolute go-to DIY Lip Scrub. It takes less than five minutes and will leave your lips soft and moisturized.

What you’ll need:

We’re going to keep it simple. Combine the honey and the brown sugar until everything sticks together. It’s going to have a gooey consistency. To apply, I suggest you do this over a sink. Dampen your lips with warm water. Scoop some scrub with your finger and rub the scrub into you lips in small circular motions for about one minute. Once you’re done, rinse with warm water, pat your lips dry and use your favorite lip balm. For a more vigorous scrubbing, instead of rubbing the lip scrub in with your finger, you may use a toothbrush. Using a toothbrush alone, gets rid of the dry skin on your lips.

Benefits of honey & brown sugar:

Honey:

  • Moisturizes
  • Soothes and conditions skin
  • Exfoliates skin
  • Adds a natural shine

Brown Sugar:

  • Great as an exfoliator
  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Fights off bacteria
  • Keeps moisture locked in

How do you keep your lips moisturized during the harsh winters? Share with us in the comments below!