Urban Green Life: Creating a Cozy Atmosphere

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By: Chloe Williams

There is nothing as enticing as a warm, cozy bedroom when the weather cools down. True coziness stimulates all five sense, so a truly cozy room should do the same. In order to create a cozy atmosphere, you must first decide what cozy feels like to you. To me, coziness is when I feel warm, content, and secure. I based my room around that feeling. I then broke down what made me feel that way using the five senses.

Sight:

  • Pinecones – pinecones remind me  of the change of season and give me the sudden urge to curl up in bed.

  • Pillows – I’m just drawn to beds with abundances of pillows. They’re just begging to be sunken into.

  • Photos of significant other – seeing the face of a loved one induces that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

  • Knitting: thick cable knits of a blanket or my own basic purling makes me feel ceaselessly comfy and cozy.

Sound:

  • Billie Holiday – All of Me

  • Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into the Dark

  • Bon Iver – Holocene

  • Miles Davis – Seven Steps to Heaven

  • Anything by Frank Sinatra or Harry Connick Jr.

Smell

  • Scented pine cones – you can find these at your local craft store; their look and cinnamon scent are an instant reminder of fall.

  • Cloves – there’s just a little bit of autumn with every whiff.

  • Pumpkin Spice – I think this one speaks for itself.

Touch:

  • Yarn – yarn, in my opinion, is the coziest material of all time.

  • Blankets – getting snug under covers is what the cooler seasons are all about.

  • Book pages – I always associate that coarse feel of book pages against my fingertips with being warm in bed.

  • Warm mugs – heating up your hands with a nice cup of tea or cocoa is a must during winter and fall.

Taste

  • Warm drinks – matcha , chai, hot chocolate, and coffee are great to sip on to stay warm as it gets cold.

  • Candies – hard candies like butterscotch and caramel taste how being cozy feels.

Once you have your list, try putting some (or all!) of those elements into your room. Then, tell us some things that made it on your cozy list. Look out for our cute, cozy mason jar candle tutorial !

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Autumn is Here

ImageBy: Chloe Williams

 

When autumn comes around, I feel renewed. The days seem to go by in slow motion and I notice every detail. The leaves turn color and fall, leaving tree limbs bare and vulnerable to the winter’s chill. My favorite coffee shop is full of people with their noses in books, cozied up in scarves and cardigans, sipping hot matcha and chai lattes.

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The season encompasses every aspect of my life. From the places I go to kill time, to the place I lay my head.

My room is filled with hues of deep red and rich brown, and scented heavily by candles named things like Spiced Cider and Pumpkin Pie. My bed is loaded with pillows, blankets, and throws. I keep a bouquet of dried flowers on my bedside table, along with some rustic looking picture frames containing photos of my boyfriend and I. I even go as far as to change the books on my shelves from New York Times best sellers to classics and personal favorites. A cup of tea is perpetually perched atop my night stand.  

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This season, Urban Green Life will be posting some great fall and winter tutorials. We’ll have simmering stove top potpourri, customized mugs, and a DIY gift ideas; just to name a few. We also have a new column this season called Sol Food, which will feature some brilliant, hearty recipes for fall and winter.

Until then, share some of your seasonal staples with us.

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SLV Comes to Sol Collective Tuesday, October 15th

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SLV is the musical project of singer-songwriter Sandra Lilia Velásquez.
After recording three studio albums and touring extensively with her band Pistolera, her solo debut EP, Dig Deeper, was released on February 12, 2013 on her own Luchadora label. The four song recording was produced by ten-time Grammy nominee and legendary bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, who plays bass on three of the songs and co-wrote one. She debuted her band at the famed Joe’s Pub in February of 2013 of which music site Feast Of Music hailed, “SLV transported the audience to a different time and place… her energy blanketed the audience… Leaving the deepest impression was SLV’s absolute authenticity.” After a successful east coast tour she is set to tour the west coast in October of 2013. SLV’s second music video for the song “Painted Pictures” recently premiered on USA TODAY. She has also been featured on NPR and WNYC. Her band is currently a trio with a laptop and fans can expect what the New York Music Daily boasts in their live review, “[SLV] channeled minute fractions of the spectrum between boudoir seduction and full-blown angst and every emotion in between.
 
Check out her video for “Enough” here.
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Urban Green Life: Coconut Hair Care

Urban Green Life: Coconut Hair Care

Ladies, we all have that one brand of shampoo and conditioner we can’t live without. That one hair mask that makes our locks look voluminous, shiny, and luxurious. However, as luxurious as those products may be, they are not really good for us. Shampoo and conditioner are known to contain neurotoxins like methylisothiazolinone, diethanolamine, which are also biocides and cytotoxins, and carcinogens like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Never fear, you can avoid these toxins by making your own shampoo and conditioner at home! You will need the following, all available at Trader Joe’s.

Shampoo:

1/2 cup coconut milk

2/3 cup Dr. Bronner’s tea tree Castile soap

1 tsp vitamin E oil

1 tsp coconut oil

10-15 drops tea tree oil

Conditioner:

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1 cup coconut oil
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1/4 tsp tea tree oil
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1 tsp vitamin e oil

Hair Mask:

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1 egg
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1/4 cup coconut milk
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1 tbs coconut oil

In order to make and store your shampoo and conditioner, you will need two pump containers (I got mine from Dollar Tree), two mixing bowls, a whisk, and a funnel.

You’ll first want to melt your coconut oil, I melted my whole jar in forty seconds in the microwave. Then, you’ll want to start on your shampoo. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until frothy. Use your funnel to pour into your container. Do the same with your conditioner after you’ve washed your whisk and funnel. You’ll want to put your conditioner in the fridge until it hardens partway.

For your hair mask, you’ll repeat the same steps, excluding the containment. Just go to the bathroom, saturate your hair with the mixture, put on a shower cap, and wait twenty minutes. Use your new homemade shampoo and conditioner after, and you have soft, shiny, healthy hair.

Tell us how this worked out for you! Suggestions are welcome.

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New Dia de los Muertos Garden at Sol Collective!

New Dia de los Muertos Garden at Sol Collective!

By: Chloe Williams

Today our interns here at Sol have helped us revamp the garden for Dia de los Muertos by planting Flor de Cempasuchil and Agave. We started by digging up the old garden and bagging up the old plants so we could move them to the back. From there, Mari of Spanglish Arte worked her magic, planning the garden’s layout to make it pretty. We followed her plan and the results were wonderful. Behind a barrier of Flor de Cempasuchil sits several Agave plants ready for use.

Flor de Cempasuchil are also known as Flor de Muertos, the flower of the dead. This flower is used every year on the second of November to honor those who have passed.

Agave is known as the goddess of medicine in many cultures. Agave nectar is used quite often as a sweetener, but can also be used to heal wounds. Agave needles were used in Latin America. The use of fermented agave juice dates back to 200 A.D. Agave is also known to be useful in the wild, when one is in need of a needle for sewing.

Come see our garden and take our classes for Dia de los Muertos! Pop-up Art Labs: Saturdays 11:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m FREE at The Sacramento History Museum.
October 5th: Papel Picado and Paper Flowers
October 12th: Decorate Calaveras (Skulls)
October 19th: Mini Alters
November 1st: Dia de los Muertos Celebration, 6:00 p.m to 12:00 a.m

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Urban Green Life: Home Remedies for the Common Cold

urban green life common coldBy Chloe Williams

Autumn and Winter are without doubt my two favorite seasons. When the leaves change and the air gets cold, I feel at home. I get to bust out the blankets, the ugly sweaters, and unfortunately, the tissues. It’s not that time of year until I get sick, and it always seems to hit me early. Especially this year. Two days after the first day of autumn, I came down with a cold. The dreaded cold. The sniffling, the chills, the hacking cough. I got it all. After doing a whole lot of pinning on Pinterest and browsing WebMD, I came up with a small list of ways to kick that cold at home.

1. Eat Marshmallows
I had a field day with this one. Marshmallows were originally made to help relieve a sore throat. Eat a few–or in my case, a few dozen–and let them do their magic. This is perfect kids.

2. Make ginger-rosemary tea
This is really simple to make at home, from scratch. All you need is an inch and half of ginger, a sprig of fresh rosemary, and a couple of limes. Grate half your ginger into a teapot or pitcher, and slice the rest. Then, add your rosemary and juice one lime. Pour in four cups of boiling water. Add wedges of lime into the mixture and let cool/steep for thirty minutes or so. Pour into a mug with a strainer and enjoy cooled down or heated in the microwave.

3.Gargle mouthwash and peroxide
Say goodbye to salt water and hello to Listerine. Mix one part Listerine with one part hydrogen peroxide and gargle away. It seriously does the trick.

4. Drink plenty of fluids
It’s a pretty basic tip, but it works. Especially when it comes to my next tip.

5. Take a detox bath and sweat it out.
Draw a bath as hot as you can bear it. As it’s running, add two cups of lavender Epsom salt (I got some from Dollar Tree), one cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of sea salt, two inches of sliced ginger, three green tea bags, and ten drops of tea tree oil. Get in the bath slowly, and set a timer for forty minutes. The first twenty minutes are to get you to sweat out all the toxins and gunk in your body and the other half of the bath is for letting the minerals soak in.

6. Put vapor rub on the bottom of your feet and power nap
After your detox bath, wrap up in some warm pj’s and slap some vapor rub on the bottom of your feet. Pull on some thick socks and take a nice, long nap.

Hopefully I’ll be better within the next few days. Until then, share some home remedies you have.

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