Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life’s Changes

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Many of us grew up celebrating holiday traditions that were taught to us by our parents and families. You may remember some time honored traditions such as mailing out Christmas cards, decorating with natural elements, baking from scratch and even making homemade gifts. Even as we’ve grown up and left home many of us have continued to carry on those same holiday traditions we learned as children.

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However, some of these holiday traditions may have changed with time. Whether it was due to a death in the family or a move out of state, many traditions tend to adapt to the needs of our new families and life changes. But what makes these changes special as we shape our new traditions from old ones is the meaning and the stories we keep and carry on throughout the coming years.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Change

Growing up and into early adulthood, my friend Bambi always made sugar cookies with her grandmother to celebrate the season. These cookies in turn were given to friends and family as homemade gifts. Using family sugar cookie and buttercream icing recipes that have been passed down through the generations, Bambi’s new tradition is making and then decorating those same cookies with her closest friends now that her grandmother is gone.

This year was the second year I able to participate in decorating cookies with Bambi as part of her new holiday tradition. That I’m able to be a part of something so meaningful to her, in turn makes it more meaningful to me. And while there was no amount of prodding, poking, coaxing, bribing or begging to convince Bambi to dish and share her recipes (sorry!) I certainly can’t imagine not participating as the years move forward.

Along with this Bambi also gave me one of the best presents she could gift me with this year – a new holiday tradition. So whether you’re looking to start new holiday traditions with your own friends or a new family, decorating Christmas cookies and holiday cookie exchanges are a longstanding tradition that I can certainly get behind.

So just how to do you go about planning a cookie decorating party? Keep reading to learn how my friend, Bambi, organizes her cookie decorating parties and for some great links to tips for hosting a holiday cookie exchange as well as a few sugar cookie recipes to get you started. Plus learn more about new holiday traditions other people have started and how to deal with holiday celebration overload.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions with Cookies

Prior to hosting her guests, Bambi prepares for her holiday cookie decorating event a few days in advance. She spends about two days baking sugar cookies using her grandmother’s recipe. Then in between the time she makes them and then everyone gets together to decorate them, they are stored in plastic storage containers in the refrigerator.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes.

A few days later everyone shows up with a bottle of wine in hand. Typically Bambi also provides some simple appetizers like hummus, crackers and cheese. However, if we “accidentally” break a cookie, it’s like a bonus prize and gets eaten right then and there. But only after it’s been decorated, of course!

The buttercream icing isn’t made until the arrival of all her guests. New batches of icing are then made as we run out.

Annie, Bambi’s rescue dog, always manages to walk under “mom” while she’s mixing more icing. Thus we have photos of her two years in a row covered in powdered sugar spots. (My own dog, Jasper, attended this year as well.)

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes.

Once the first batch of icing is ready to go, the icing, cookies and candy decorations are laid out on her dining room table within reach of everyone.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes.

Then we all decorate our cookies on paper plates to keep the colored sugars and candies from making a mad dash for the floor.

Celebrating Holiday Traditions Through Life's Changes. Plus how to host a holiday cookie exchange and a collection of homemade Christmas cookie recipes.

The cookies are then laid out on the table on top of wax paper as each one is completed.

Once all of the cookies are decorated, they are packaged in reusable plastic containers. Bambi then gifts each of her guests a box of cookies and the rest get shipped to her friends and family back home in Wisconsin.

If you’d like to host your own holiday cookie decorating party, The Kitchn has a great article with ten essential tips to know before you begin baking. Additionally, Real Simple also has a great checklist for hosting a holiday cookie exchange that also works for hosting a cookie decorating party. Sugar & Charm as well as Handle the Heat also offer some great tips for hosting a cookie exchange.

Glazed Sugar Cookies Recipe with Buttercream Embroidery via My Name is Yeh Blog! Plus celebrating holiday traditions and how to host a Christmas cookie decorating party!

If you’re looking for Christmas cookie decorating ideas, I am head over heels for these glazed sugar cookies with buttercream “embroidery” from My Name is Yeh. You can find and print the recipe for these cookies here. I also really love the star Christmas cookies recipe from Tell Love and Party.

Printable Christmas Cookie Gift Tags via Cranberry Bush blog! Plus celebrating holiday traditions and how to host a Christmas cookie decorating party!

For gifting your homemade holiday cookies, Cranberry Bush has two super cute printable cookie gift tags. You can find more printable gift tags on my Printables Pinterest board. Or discover great gift wrapping ideas on my Pretty Packaging + Gift Wrap Ideas Pinterest board.

Starting New Holiday Traditions

I know when I went through my divorce from my first husband and my son inevitably ventured into adulthood, celebrating Christmas lost much of its luster for me. So much so that one of the best Christmases I had after getting separated was ice “skating” in my sneakers on the frozen parking lot of Market Square downtown with a friend. It wasn’t until I started making my own holiday traditions, that some of the magic of the holiday season started to come back for me.

If your old holiday traditions are no longer an option for you, then you may want to consider creating new ones. They don’t need to be religious or even fit into any particular winter holiday. They simply need to be something that brings you joy. Having something to that brings you and your loved ones together during what is typically the most depressing season of the year can definitely make cold days seem a bit warmer.

O’Boy! Organic, who moved away from his family in Michigan over twenty years ago, has a great article on the importance of holiday traditions and how they help to build unity and stability. He also shares his top five new holiday traditions. Number four is baking cookies with his kids.

There’s also a great post on HuffPost with ideas for 15 new traditions for families reclaiming the holidays after a divorce. Shared by their readers on their Facebook page, my favorites are creating a guest list for holiday get togethers to try new things, ditching the chaos of the Christmas tree tradition, taking a trip instead of giving gifts and of course, the best one yet, just finally being happy.

Does Celebrating Holiday Traditions Leave You Feeling overwhelmed?

In the midst of celebrating holiday traditions, both old and new, it’s also important to realize there is such a thing as too much tradition. Reluctant Entertainer touches on this in her post “Traditions: When Is It Time to Change?.” Women especially tend to put extra emphasis on holiday traditions which in turn can often lead to a lot of stress and guilt when they are unable to meet expectations. So this article offers some great insight into being able to say “enough is enough.”

Personally I know how it feels to be on this side of things, as I’m sure many of you do as well. And there were a few years that I especially struggled and therefore made the decision to opt out of holiday gatherings completely. And it is okay to do this. After all, your mental and emotional well being matter more than a dinner regardless of the time of year.

So if celebrating holiday traditions feel more like an obligation, it may be time to simply take time for yourself. After all, you’re not really celebrating holiday traditions if you’re spending much of that time trying to avoid a panic attack.

Additionally, if your head space isn’t where it needs to be to even attend holiday functions, much less embark on a new tradition, then you may be able to gain some insight from the article “Family Change: Don’t Cancel the Holidays!

Are you celebrating holiday traditions this year or starting new ones? I’d love to hear how you enjoy the holiday season in the comments below.

Also be sure to follow me via all of your favorite social media platforms including G+TumblrFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

Natural Ways to Fight Colds & Flu This Fall

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

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The kids are in school, the holidays are fast approaching and there’s so much planning and shopping still yet to be done. Who can afford to get sick? Whether you’re making soothing medicinal teas, immune boosting syrups or something else entirely, these natural ways to fight colds & flu will keep you in shape to do what needs to be done.

Natural Ways to Fight Colds & Flu This Fall! The kids are in school, the holidays are fast approaching and there's so much planning and shopping still yet to be done. Who can afford to get sick? Whether you're making soothing medicinal teas, immune boosting syrups or something else entirely, these natural ways to fight colds & flu will keep you in shape to do what needs to be done.

After all, we can’t always afford to take time off from work or home life. But it is important that we take time out for self care. This way we can still perform at our best even when we feel bad. And who knows, you may find that you enjoy some of these natural ways to fight colds & flu even when you aren’t sick!

Natural Ways to Fight Colds & Flu

Natural Ways to Fight Colds & Flu This Fall! Learn how to make custom herbal tea blends to fight the cold & flu! Learn how to use herbal ingredients to create your own herbal teas for fighting the cold and flu. For example, peppermint helps to not only cool down the body, but it also soothes irritated lungs and eases colds. Hibiscus flowers, which are naturally rich in Vitamin C, help to “dry” out excess mucus in your lungs. While marshmallow root adds a coat of mucilage that can sooth a dry cough and sore throat.

Medicinal Tea for Colds & Flu

You need look no further than tea brands like Yogi and Traditional Medicinals to know that tea can help with a variety of ailments from insomnia and constipation to weight loss and energy. But if name brand teas don’t quite cut it, you can create your own custom tea blends to help ease a cold or flu.

Within the article, How to Make Custom Herbal Tea Blends by Jes of Good 4 You Herbals, you are provided with introductory information on herbal ingredients and tips for mixing these ingredients to create custom herbal teas. For example, peppermint leaf helps to not only cool down the body, but it also soothes irritated lungs and eases colds. Hibiscus flowers, which are naturally rich in Vitamin C, help to “dry” out excess mucus in your lungs. While marshmallow root adds a coat of mucilage that can sooth a dry cough and sore throat.

Cayenne, and this one is often used in cold & flu tea blends, heats up the body and acts as an expectorant if you have a stuffy nose due to a cold or flu. In addition it also has amazing antibacterial properties that help to promote wellness.

You can find Jes’ article on how to customize your own herbal teas here. (Jes also uses her herbal knowledge when developing her own natural plant based makeup. You can purchase her products via her Etsy store here.) Or try this simple and easy cold & flu herbal tea recipe with echinacea, ginger and cayenne to get you started.

If you’re not quite up to the task of customizing and preparing your own medicinal herbal tea remedy, you can purchase pre-blended cold & flu herbal teas from these artisanal sellers based on your symptoms. Or simply gleam ideas for the types of ingredients you’d like to use when making your own teas.

Fight cold & flu naturally with this Cold & Flu Loose Herbal Tea from Arogya Tea & Holistic Healing. This natural home remedy and herbal tea contains an immune-boosting and antiseptic blend of herbs to help strengthen and defend your reserves. Ingredients include Elder Flowers, Licorice Root, Fennel and Cinnamon to battle congestion, Calendula to ease fever, Lime Blossoms to calm the stomach and Echinacea to boost immunity.

I am particularly partial to this Cold & Flu Loose Herbal Tea from Arogya Tea & Holistic Healing. It contains an immune-boosting and antiseptic blend of herbs to help strengthen and defend your reserves. Ingredients include Elder Flowers, Licorice Root, Fennel and Cinnamon to battle congestion, Calendula to ease fever, Lime Blossoms to calm the stomach and Echinacea to boost immunity. Get it here. Or try Folke Magick’s Cold & Flu Herbal Tea as an alternate version.

Why drink apple cider vinegar during cold & flu season? Drinking raw apple cider vinegar everyday is a great way to keep your immunity up. Not only can it help to prevent you from getting sick, but it also gives your body a boost to fight a cold or the flu if you do get sick. I have a great recipe for a turmeric ginger apple cider vinegar tonic here. If you already have a cold, adding a dash of cayenne pepper to suit can give this tonic an extra kick to help clear out stuffy nasal passages.

Immune Boosting Home Remedies

Apple Cider Vinegar

Speaking of boosting your immunity, drinking raw apple cider vinegar everyday is a great way to keep your immunity up. Not only can it help to prevent you from getting sick, but it also gives your body a boost to fight a cold or the flu if you do get sick. I have a great recipe for a turmeric ginger apple cider vinegar tonic here. If you already have a cold, adding a dash of cayenne pepper to suit can give this tonic an extra kick to help clear out stuffy nasal passages.

Natural ways to fight colds & flu! Learn how to make elderberry syrup this cold & flu season to help naturally boost your immunity! Black elderberries have been used for hundreds of years for their medicinal value in treating colds, the flu, allergies and to boost overall respiratory health. Found along rivers, forests and even roadsides, this common botanical yields ripe berries that are rich in antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Elderberry syrup is a simple and tasty way to ingest the nutrients offered by elderberries. It’s believed that taken daily, it can help to prevent flu and colds as well as aid in the recovery of an existing illness such as the flu, colds, excessive mucus and even a sore throat. You can learn how to make your own homemade elderberry syrup here.

Black Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is another immunity boosting remedy! Black elderberries have been used for hundreds of years for their medicinal value in treating colds, the flu, allergies and to boost overall respiratory health. Found along rivers, forests and even roadsides, this common botanical yields ripe berries that are rich in antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C.

Elderberry syrup is a simple and tasty way to ingest the nutrients offered by elderberries. It’s believed that taken daily, it can help to prevent flu and colds as well as aid in the recovery of an existing illness such as the flu, colds, excessive mucus and even a sore throat. You can learn how to make your own homemade elderberry syrup here. Alternately you can also buy a DIY elderberry kit or premade elderberry syrup. (This stuff is delicious! I highly recommend trying it on pancakes.)

In addition to apple cider vinegar and elderberry syrup, you can also purchase immunity boosting herbal teas. Moose Head Homestead sells an ImmuniTEA-herbal tea blend that combines elderflowers with organic ginger root, calendula, yarrow and peppermint leaf that you take at the first sign of discomfort. Earth Witch Herbals also sells an Immuni-TEA tea blend with a slightly different formula.

Alternately, if sipping on tea isn’t really your thing, Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Immune A.S.A.P Supplement is a wonderful alternative in pill form. (FYI Thrive Market has great prices on the entire Gaia Herb line. I shop with them regularly. It’s kind of like a Costco but for the world’s best healthy food and natural products at wholesale prices.)

Turmeric Golden Milk

Speaking of turmeric, golden milk is another great option for not only boosting your immunity, but it’s also a pretty powerful antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Golden milk, also sometimes called turmeric tea, can help stop a bacterial infection in its tracks as well as soothe a sore throat. It can also help with digestion issues such as with gas, bloating, and digestive comfort as well as ease muscle and joint pain.

An immune boosting turmeric golden milk recipe from Wit & Delight blog!

This turmeric golden milk recipe from Wit & Delight is a great option. You can swap out the non-dairy milk for dairy if you prefer or swap the honey with light agave syrup to make it vegan. (Wit & Delight is one of my long time favorite lifestyle blogs covering topics that include beauty, fashion, interior design, health & wellness, parenting and more.)

You can also find a simpler golden milk recipe at It’s a Healthy Lifestyle blog which focuses on nutrition, veganism, health and lifestyle. There’s even a golden milk frozen dog treat recipe for your pup at Dalmatian DIY because, after all, pets are family too.

Or, if there’s a bit too much work involved in the process of making turmeric tea for your hectic schedule, Laird’s Superfood Turmeric Creamer makes a great nutrient rich, vegan alternative for adding turmeric to your diet along with your morning cup of jo. (I also purchased this product from Thrive Market recently.)

Twig + Petals Immunity Boost Organic Essential Oil Blend is a natural way to help fight colds & flu! The natural blend of Pine, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Myrrh, Tea Tree, Thyme essential oils can be applied to feet or added to warm bathwater to help support your body's natural immunity. 

Essential Oils

If your preference lies more in the realm of essential oils and aromatherapy then you might want to consider giving Twig + Petals Immunity Boost Organic Essential Oil Blend a try. The natural blend of Pine, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Myrrh, Tea Tree, Thyme essential oils can be applied to feet or added to warm bathwater to help support your body’s natural immunity.

Alternately, if you enjoy making your own homemade products, Humblebee & Me has a great recipe for making your own Essential Oil Cold & Flu Aromatherapy Roll On. It contains eucalyptus, peppermint, clove bud, wintergreen, lime, cajeput and tea tree essential oils as well as menthol. If you are allergic or sensitive to eucalyptus and/or clove bud essential oils, cedarwood and cinnamon essential oils make a wonderful substitute.

Now that you’re better armed to take on cold & flu season – and really, basically be Wonder Woman for the entire holiday season – be sure to let me know in the comments what some of your favorite natural ways to fight colds & flu are! And don’t forget to check out my Natural Home Remedies & Herbal Health Care board on Pinterest for more great ideas for taking charge of your health.

For even more great ideas and homemade skin care recipes you can find and follow me on all of your favorite social media platforms including PinterestG+TumblrFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Alternately, you can also sign up to receive new posts from Soap Deli News blog to your email via FeedBurner so you never miss a post.

This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.

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Pitcher Sangria Recipe & Other Fun Things for Your Taco Tuesday

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

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Planning a Taco Tuesday brouhaha? Why not pair some adult drinks to go along with the mischief? You’ll love these recipes for making both a pitcher sangria recipe and an adult summer punch!

These adult drink recipes are both passed on from Ladles & Linens. The adult summer punch recipe I rediscovered in a Timehop from the Ladles & Linens facebook page a few years back. While the pitcher sangria recipe was passed along by my adult son who currently works at Ladles & Linens in Roanoke. (The pitcher sangria recipe is FABULOUS!)

If you’ve never heard of Ladles & Linens it’s a wonderful woman-owned, small business that specializes in fun kitchen and gourmet cooking supplies. This friendly and fun shop is a great place to stock up on kitchen basics, entertaining pieces and gadgets. They have plenty of gift ideas too!

Currently Ladles & Linens has three locations in Virginia. They can be found in Roanoke, Lexington and Carytown in Richmond, VA. You can also visit the Ladles & Linens website to shop online, learn about upcoming events and scroll through their blog for recipes, information on new products and even gift ideas! You can also find Ladles & Linens on Facebook as well as instagram specific to each location – Roanoke, Richmond and Lexington.

Ready to make these awesome adult drink recipes for your Taco Tuesday? Keep reading for both the pitcher sangria recipe and the adult summer punch recipe which you can find below!

Pitcher Sangria Recipe

Ingredients:

1 750mL bottle of red wine (of choice)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup pineapple
1 orange (quartered)
1 lime (quartered)
1 lemon (quartered)
2 shots liquor (spiced rum, brandy or vodka)
2 cups lemon-lime or club soda

Optional Additional Ingredients:

raspberries, blueberries or strawberries, to suit

Instructions:

Combine the orange juice, sugar and liquor (using your choice of spiced rum, brandy or vodka) into a large pitcher and stir.

Next, squeeze the juice from the orange, lemon and lime quarters into the pitcher. Then combine the fresh squeezed fruit and the pineapple into the pitcher with the orange juice, sugar and liquor.

Allow the pitcher sangria to set overnight or a minimum of 8 hours. When ready to serve, add the soda along with your choice of raspberries, blueberries or strawberries and stir. Pour, sip and enjoy!

Adult Summer Punch Recipe

Ingredients:

1 quart cranberry juice
zest of one lime
1/2 cup orange liqueur
3/4 cup raspberry vodka
1/4 cup grenadine

Instructions:

Use a microplane zester to make the lime zest. Then combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl and mix.

Serve over ice.

Need more Taco Tuesday Recipes?

Here are some of my favorite taco recipes that I’ve pinned to my Recipe Pinterest board.

Blackened Shrimp Taco Recipe for Taco Tuesday via Budget Bytes

Blackened Shrimp Taco Recipe via Budget Bytes / This blackened shrimp in this taco recipe are filled with spicy flavor and are perfectly accented with a sweet and tangy bulked up slaw.

Beer Braised Chipotle Chicken Taco Recipe for Taco Tuesday via How Sweet It Is

Beer Braised Chipotle Chicken Taco Recipe via How Sweet It Is / These delicious chicken tacos are made with chipotle beer braised chicken – meaning, yes! – these are basically boozy beer tacos.

Crispy Quinoa & Mole Sweet Potato Taco Recipe for Taco Tuesday via Naturally Ella / A House in the Hills

Crispy Quinoa & Mole Sweet Potato Taco Recipe via Naturally Ella / A House in the Hills / This tasty vegetarian taco recipe is also gluten free and makes a hearty dinner even without taco meat. (You will however need to omit the goat cheese as an optional ingredient.)

Chicken Tinga Taco Recipe with Grilled Corn Guac for Taco Tuesday via How Sweet It Is

Chicken Tinga Taco Recipe with Grilled Corn Guac via How Sweet It Is / Another great taco recipe from How Sweet It Is! (I LOVE this blog. Can you tell?) These smoky roasted, tomato-sauced shredded chicken tacos are perfect for your Taco Tuesday dinner. And who can resist grilled corn guacamole?

Caramelized Pork Taco Recipe with Pineapple Salsa for Taco Tuesday via Pinch of Yum

Caramelized Pork Taco Recipe with Pineapple Salsa via Pinch of Yum / And finally, but certainly not least, are these wonderful tacos made with thin strips of caramelized pork, fresh cucumber pineapple cilantro salsa, and chili mayo sauce!

Drinking Games for Taco Tuesday and Beyond!

If you’re already having a drinks, you can extend your Taco Tuesday with a fun drinking game or two. I’ve been stocking up on adult games recently for future girls only nights. After browsing – and buying – I have to say I don’t think games like this existed twenty years ago.

I chose to buy several new games for their 21+ appeal and sense of humor. A few may be over the top if you’re more reserved than I am, but if your personality is wide open then you may have found your own next game haul.

Laughcronyms Party Game for Adults or Families - Funny Drawing & Quick Creative Thinking Card Game for Groups of 4 to 20 Players (Adult Humor or Family Friendly)

Recent adult party games that I’ve purchase include Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition, CoolCats & AssHats: A Card Game for a Funner Party, This one time, I..: The Game of Ludicrous Life Choices (Girls’ Night Edition), Laughcronyms Party Game for Adults, Cards Against Humanity and the more family friendly, 5 Second Rule.

It is important to note that I have not played all of these games yet – getting everyone’s schedules to match up is sometimes challenging. However, if you read the reviews for each game they’ll give you a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into – or don’t want to get into.

Anyhoo, happy Taco Tuesday everyone! I hope you enjoyed this little deviation from the usual soap and skin care recipes! If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy my other posts on how to throw a DIY bath bomb partyhow to throw a unicorn party and my party pleasers post that contains lots of fun party ideas as well as my own recipe for rooibos peach tea rum punch!

To discover more of my favorite dinner and taco recipes, be sure to check out my Recipes Pinterest board here. Or peek in on my Cocktail Hour Pinterest board for more great cocktail and sangria recipes!

Also be sure to follow me via social media so you never miss a post. You can find and follow me on Pinterest as well as G+TumblrFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or sign up to receive new posts directly to your email via FeedBurner.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Cocktail Recipe + My Weekly Wrap Up!

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

This weekend I wanted to share my new apple cider vinegar cocktail recipe! It’s a refreshing and light cocktail that can be made with either vodka or gin. Plus it’s a great way to sneak in those extra probiotics.

Apple Cider Vinegar Cocktail Recipe! This apple cider vinegar cocktail recipe can be made with either vodka or gin. And it's a great way to sneak in those extra probiotics!

I know not everyone particularly enjoys the taste of apple cider vinegar, but it’s surprisingly easy to hide. Just to be sure, however, I had my friend Cathy also give my apple cider vinegar cocktail recipe a whirl and she enjoyed it as much as I do!

Apple Cider Vinegar Cocktail Recipe

© Rebecca D. Dillon

Ingredients:

1 oz. vodka or gin
.5 oz. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
.5 oz. simple syrup
3 oz. club soda
several dashes Wigle Organic Rosemary Lavender Cocktail Bitters

Notes:

I use Bragg’s raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar specifically for this recipe as it contains the “mother.” The “mother” is what offers all that probiotic goodness. Not only is Bragg’s apple cider vinegar rich in potassium, but it also helps to support a healthy immune system.

I’ve been buying my Bragg’s apple cider vinegar from Thrive Market as they have such great prices on natural and organic foods – plus freebies a few times a month with a $49 purchase! But you can also find Bragg’s apple cider vinegar in the organic section of your local grocery store.

Vinegar has historically been used in cocktails and in recent years has been making quite the comeback in handcrafted artisan cocktails. Typically called drinking vinegar or shrubs, these vinegars come in a variety of amazing flavors with the simple syrup already added. They are incredibly delicious both in cocktail recipes as well as when mixed with regular filtered water or club soda.

You can learn more about shrubs from the book, Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times, by Michael Dietsch. This book is available in both hardcover and for kindle. (If you don’t own a kindle you can still purchase and read the kindle version with Amazon’s free kindle reading app.)

Apple Cider Vinegar Cocktail Recipe! This apple cider vinegar cocktail recipe can be made with either vodka or gin. And it's a great way to sneak in those extra probiotics!

Instructions:

To make my apple cider vinegar cocktail simple measure out and combine all ingredients in a tall glass with ice and stir to combine. If desired, you can garnish your drink with a twist of lime or rosemary or even muddle a bit of lavender to add to the mix. Then simply sip and enjoy!

(If you like my apple cider vinegar cocktail recipe, then you may also like my cocktail recipe for Rooibos Peach Tea Rum Punch!)

As usual I’ve also been working on quite a few new projects this week. While some of them make the cut, not all of them always do. While it can be frustrating, I always learn something new from my DIY fails and sometimes I simply discover something unexpected.

A post shared by Soap Deli News Blog (@soapdeli) on

One interesting discovery I made this week is that bath bombs made using a mini bundt cake silicone mold will travel in your bath water (as illustrated by my instagram video above.)

The Prime Surprise Sweets Dash Button is a Wi-Fi connected device that orders Prime members a surprise box of delicious treats from small-batch artisans anytime you want, at just the press of a button.

Also this week I finally made it off the waitlist for Amazon’s Prime Surprise Sweets Dash Button! Being a fan of ipsy as well as a few other monthly beauty programs, I REALLY wanted to try this. The Prime Surprise Sweets Dash Button is a Wi-Fi connected device that orders Prime members a surprise box of delicious treats from small-batch artisans anytime you want, at just the press of a button. It’s my first ever dash button and I’m actually excited about this one. (I mean it’s perfect for those once a month cravings for sweets during a hormone surge, right?!)

You can purchase the Prime Surprise Sweets Dash Button here. (Or alternately, if it’s not available, you can get on the waitlist. I was approved after about a week.) Like other dash buttons, you’ll pay $4.99 up front which is then credited back to your first order. (Not an Amazon Prime member? You can sign up for a 30-day free trial here.)

Pineapple Rose Shea + Clay Artisan Soap Loaf by Skin Kitchn

I also fell in love with a new Etsy shop I discovered this week called Skin Kitchn. This Sacramento, California small business is run by Dori Nicole who creates lovingly crafted artisan soaps for sensitive skin. You can buy artisan soaps by the loaf or by the bar.

Pictured is Dori’s wildly popular Pineapple Rose Shea + Clay Artisan Soap Loaf made with shea butter and sweet almond oil. It’s lightly scented with a tropical mix of pineapple and papaya with Rose Clay added for color. You can check out the full line of Skin Kitchn products on Etsy here. You can discover more artisan products to fall in love with by visiting my Etsy favorites here.

I hope every enjoys the rest of the weekend! Be sure to follow me across all of my social media including PinterestG+TumblrFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram for more exciting finds and recipes. Or sign up to receive new posts directly to your email via FeedBurner.

Lemon Ginger Spritzer Cocktail Recipe

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

This lemon ginger spritzer cocktail recipe requires just three ingredients for the perfect summer drink!

This lemon ginger spritzer cocktail recipe requires just three ingredients for the perfect summer drink!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! I came up with this simple, yet delightful lemon ginger spritzer this past week and loved it so much I wanted to share it! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

It’s super simple to make and requires just three ingredients. It contains a drinking vinegar, also known as shrubs, limoncello and soda water. The bourbon cherry is optional, but oh so divine.

This lemon ginger spritzer cocktail recipe requires just three ingredients for the perfect summer drink!

I used Pok Pok Som Ginger Drinking Vinegar for my lemon ginger spritzer cocktail recipe. I’ve tried five of these drinking vinegars so far and they are all delicious. You don’t have to add alcohol to these though. You can simply add 1 part drinking vinegar to 4 parts water or soda water and they are just as delicious! I think my very very favorite is the Thai Basil though.

Anyhow, here’s the quick and easy recipe! I hope you love it! And if you try it please tell me what you think!

This lemon ginger spritzer cocktail recipe requires just three ingredients for the perfect summer drink!

Lemon Ginger Spritzer Recipe

© Rebecca D. Dillon

Ingredients:

1 oz. Pok Pok Som Ginger Drinking Vinegar
1 oz. Don Ciccio & Figli Limoncello
3 oz. club soda

Directions:

Measure out and combine all ingredients. Stir. Pour into a glass with ice.

This lemon ginger spritzer cocktail recipe requires just three ingredients for the perfect summer drink!

Top with a bourbon cherry if desired. (I used Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Bourbon Cocktail Cherries which are quite the divine indulgence.) Enjoy!

If you’d like to learn more about shrubs, be sure to check out the book, Shrubs by Michael Dietsch.

For more cocktail inspired recipes be sure to check out my recipes for making homemade cocktail bitters as well as my recipe for making a Rooibos Peach Tea Rum Punch. You can also follow my Cocktail Hour Pinterest board for more cocktail recipes and cocktail related pins.

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