Self-Care in Community

We have a group of friends who have not only been an incredible source of support for us, but are also incredibly active and engaged in building a strong, diverse, welcoming community here in Reno. We wanted to show our gratitude and decided to invite the group over for a self-care "party."

Nature cooperated with our plan and offered this incredible sunset for our guests. 
While self care is often thought of as something we do on our own -- as in, "I'm taking a self-care day" -- it can also be something we nurture and make room for together in community. Providing space for that in our home was a honor… and a lot of fun. We made yummy food and drinks, provided a variety of face masks and a homemade lip scrub, heated the hot tub, and invited everyone over. We ate, drank, chatted, and laughed well into the night and sent everyone home with a jar of fresh fridge pickles. If you're looking for a way to celebrate your friendships and community, we can highly recommend hosting a similar get-together.

The wood-fired hot tub at sunset
Here are two recipes to try:


Figs with a labneh spread and mint garnish
Labneh is a thick, tangy middle eastern yogurt. It's kind of like cream cheese...but better. It's easy to make at home, delicious, and can be used as a dip or spread. We served it as a dip for fresh veggies (including cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes from the garden) and homemade pita bread and spread on top of figs which we'd sliced in half, and then garnished with a little fresh mint.

  • 2 lbs. non fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • mint (either fresh or dried work)
  1. Mix the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.
  2. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth and pour the yogurt in, covering with edges of cheese cloth. Place the strainer over a bowl in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. To serve as a dip, scoop the labneh into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with mint.

Labneh dip

Honey-Lavender Lip Scrub

While this lip scrub isn't technically meant to be food, it's so good you'll want to eat it -- and you totally can! I'll provide the ingredients for a small, personal amount, but it's easy to make more to share. The main ingredients are honey and brown sugar and you'll want to have about two parts honey to one part brown sugar.

Lavender plant

  •  2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • Lavender essential oil
Mix the honey and brown sugar. Sometimes I feel like this results in a too-thick paste, so I add a little bit of olive oil until it's a consistency I prefer more. Then I mix in a drop of lavender essential oil (a little bit goes a long way) and the scrub is ready! 

To use, massage a small amount onto your lips and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then wipe it off with a warm wash cloth (see below) or lick off.

Want another use for your lavender essential oil? Pour an inch or two of water into your crock pot then add a drop or two of the oil. Now, roll or fold clean wash cloths and put them in the water. Add more water so that the wash cloths are fully soaked and there's a small amount of standing water. Turn the crockpot on low until the towels are warm. Now, when your guests are ready to try a face mask you can also offer them a warm, sweet smelling towel.

"There is no way to repress pleasure and expect liberation, satisfaction, or joy."        -Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good 


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