Tag Archives: natural beauty


17 Nov

Hi to all of my followers and others who have visited my very inactive blog over the past few months. I have been going to school for Skin Esthetics since September and this is why I have been MIA for so long. I have had many tests and lots of no sleep so keeping up with Salt Pepper Brilliant has been pretty much impossible…but I definitely missed it. So I am here to tell you that SPB will be back on track shortly. I am learning to manage my time better and I am currently working on new posts for you guys. The posts won’t be as abundant as before but there definitely won’t be such a large gap in between. The goal is at least one post a week. I will try my best to stick to this goal. Also I will start posting photos of what I am up to in school during the practical portion of my day. Yesterday we worked with paraffin it was pretty awesome.  So let’s make nice and have some cake and sushi with the Host Club <3—Christina

Have some cake from Honey 🙂




Dream Sharing Time!

11 May

Ok so last night I had a horrible nightmare and to some it might be silly but for me it was really terrifying and uncomfortable. I have a huge fear of….zombies! Yes zombies. I know it might sound ridiculous but ever since I was younger zombies have just freaked me out. I’m not scared of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, freaky creatures and anything else the horror genre can throw at me; but zombies just get me every time. Maybe it is the ravenous appetite for living human flesh and being all undead thing is the case. All I know is that I hate zombies. The dream was a simple dream filled with bloody faces trying to break into the mall where I and a group of others were hiding. That constant on the run in terror feeling really is terrible when you are trying to get a good nights sleep. I have had similar zombie dreams over the years and they always have a good outcome. Thank God! We eventually find a way to escape these ravenous freaks and then I wake up. Thank goodness for morning. Did you have any dreams last night that you would like to share? Do you have any recuring dreams/nightmares? Hoping to have sweet dreams tonight—-Christina

A Grandmother’s Love Begins in the Kitchen

28 Mar

A Grandmother’s Love begins in the Kitchen

                 Growing up in a Greek and Puerto Rican home made for some exciting adventures in the kitchen. Both ethnicities centered themselves around good food with good friends and especially family. My yia yia (grandmother in Greek) Metaxia, was always an excellent cook. She would always summon me to the kitchen to test the doneness of a potato when she made her famous lemon chicken, or to help her roll out some kourabiedes (Almond butter cookies). My Puerto Rican grandma Elizabeth would always want me to hover over a pot of arroz con candules (rice and beans) or to be present when she was filling her famous pasteles with savory chunks of pork. Being a kid at the time I would often turn down these invitations into the inner sanctum to go out and play with friends. I wish I would have known then, what I know now. My grandmother’s where passing down their legacy and most importantly their love.

                   I lost my yia yia the summer of 2004 to an infection of the blood. It was sudden and took everyone in the family by surprise. It was a blow I wasn’t prepared for. I realized that I never got the chance to learn all of what she had wanted to teach me. Guilt began to overcome me and I didn’t know how to remedy it. On the days when I felt the pain of her loss the most I would remember her food. I remembered all the love and care she put into making every meal that would pass our lips. I was ecstatic when I found out that my mother had compiled my yia yia’s recipes for traditional Greek cooking in an old marble notebook. To my dismay the recipes were less than perfectly written. There were one word steps for preparation, and angry cross out marks and squiggles all over the pages. Well everyone has to start out somewhere. So I set out determined as ever to learn all that she wanted to teach me when she was still alive. Slowly but surely I worked my way through the notebook. From appetizers to grand entrees, they each had their turn taking center stage in my kitchen. Then one day it dawned on me. I should create a polished family cookbook. Not just any cookbook, but one equipped with photos of each recipe so that my family could see what the final product should look like. It would be the perfect family heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation.

                   The summer of 2009 brought more sadness to our family. My grandma Elizabeth passed away due to complications from her lifelong struggle with diabetes. Once again the light rushed out of the family kitchens. No more bubbling pots and intoxicating scents to fill our home. This time, however, there were no written Puerto Rican family recipes. I had to rely on my mother’s memory, and experimentation to recreate my grandmother’s exquisite flan and savory empanadas. I had again missed my opportunity to learn from the master. Now I was left with no grandmothers, and a book that was still heavily under construction. After my grandma Elizabeth’s passing I felt a new vigor for this cookbook. Even though work on it slowed down and on occasion ground to a halt I still worked on this precious project. I wanted to honor their love and their culinary expertise, but not just for my family now. I wanted to share their love for food and family with the world.

                   To this day I am working on the family cookbook. Testing both of my grandmother’s recipes and taking care to ensure not one flavor is out of place. When I taste each dish I want to be able to feel their touch, and to hear the warmth of their voices. I want their knowledge and their love to be felt in each succulent bite. As the flavors dissolve on my tongue I should be able to be transported to the most cherished of child hood memories. This is why the book has been such a huge part of my life. It is a piece of them. With a combined 148 years of life they have left me all of themselves within the lines of these recipes. It is an honor to be the guardian of such precious knowledge. I will make them proud no matter how long it takes me.

                  Food nourishes more than just our bodies. It nourishes our souls. A meal tastes all the better when you know it was created with love for you in mind. So to all who still have those wonderful grandmothers in their lives, please listen to them. Accept their invitations to cook. Accept their invitations to sew. All of these requests are worth your time. They want to teach you all that they know. Many of us feel that our grandparents will be around forever. Then that one day comes when they are gone, and you have missed it all. Don’t be blind to those precious and tender moments. But remember this; as long as you love them they never truly leave you. They will always live on in the memories, knowledge, and love they leave behind just for you.


This article is dedicated to my Grandma Elizabeth

And my Yia Yia Metaxia

You will always be remembered.




The Pitbull Mix and The Chihuahua

20 Mar

The Pitbull Mix and The Chihuahua

These two seem like unlikely friends, but from the first second they met they were inseperable. Mocha and Pixie met for the first time in the summer of 2004 and boy was he a bad influence on her, haha. She would run off with him and come back filthy. And when I say filthy I mean this blond became a brunette from dirt. I nipped this bad behavior in the butt and eventually the two of them mellowed out. Mocha is my neighbors dog; but during the warmer months he is over at my house all day every day. I never worry about Pixie when she is with Mocha. He is like her bodygaurd and he never plays rough with her. He even protects her from other dogs. Some neighbors don’t keep an eye on there dogs even if they are misbehaved (which Mocha is not). One day a large male dog wandered on to my property and set his sites on Pixie. Mocha was there and showed this stranger who was boss and he never returned again. Mocha is protective over the rest of the family as well, so evil doers beware. Happy Spring!—-CMY


Organic Mint Lip Balm Recipe

5 Mar

       A few posts ago I told of how winter is super brutal on my skin. I also introduced you to some sites that have organic skincare products. After that post I discovered an even better site, Mountain Rose Herbs. I wanted to be able to create as many skincare products using only organic products and MRH helped me achieve this. Every product on their site is also cheaper than the other sites so this is a definite plus. When my orders arrived I couldn’t wait to get to experimenting. One of my first recipes was for mint lip balm. Doesn’t that sound good? Well here is the recipe!

Mint Lip Balm

½ oz Beeswax

1 tablespoon Organic Cocoa Butter

1 tablespoon Organic Shea Butter

1 tablespoon Macadamia Nut Oil

½ teaspoon Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil

¼ teaspoon Organic Peppermint Essential Oil

       In a double boiler set on medium heat add your chopped beeswax. Let the beeswax melt while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Next add both of your butters stir the mixture well and let melt. Once the wax and the butters have melted remove the bowl from the heat. Add the oils and stir well to blend. Now comes the tricky part filling the lip balm tubes. I take a flimsy plastic cutting board and use double sided tape at the bottom of each tube to hold them upright. Use a standard tablespoon not a measuring tablespoon to scoop up some of the liquid lip balm. Quickly but steadily fill the tubes by tilting the tablespoon sideways it is much more precise for filling the tubes. Don’t worry if any spills over the side you can always scrape it off and reheat it. The mixture will turn to a solid as you are filling it don’t worry you can always reheat it. Don’t waste any of this stuff scrape and melt every last bit of it.

TIP: You will have some of the last bit of this mix solidified on your spoon. What do you do? Hold your metal spoon over your burner when the heat is on low and watch the mixture melt. Make sure before you do this that there is no mixture on the bottom of the spoon. If there is scrape it off and add it to the bowl of the spoon.

******This recipe makes six sticks and one 2 oz tin. Enjoy this minty super moisturizing lip balm!******



1 oz Bar of Beeswax










16 oz of Organic Shea Butter











16 oz Organic Cocoa Butter











Carrier Oils:


8oz-8.5oz each of Organic Macadamia Nut Oil and Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil












Essential Oil:


.5 fl oz Organic Peppermint Essential Oil












Lip Balm Tubes:


Clear lip balm tubes .15 oz each











2oz Tin filled with Mint Lip Balm









         Mountain Rose Herbs is an amazing company. I have ordered twice from them so far this year and both times my items have arrived in perfect condition; even when I ordered glass jars. They have excellent customer service and a huge product selection. I can’t wait to order from them again. My family can’t wait either since they get to try everything I make, haha. So explore their site when you can; I know you will definitely find something to your liking.—-CMY