The Kitchen Sink Spa Files: A Turmeric Chai + DIY Turmeric Chair Cleanser

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The mug really is as big as it looks… my mugs are bowl sized!

So let me explain the black stuff all over my face. Some of us are blessed with the ability to attract biting insects. Some people attract mosquitoes, so while every one is swatting occasionally at a buzzing bastard, they are smacking themselves like crazy, screaming “I AM BEING EATEN ALIVE!!!!!” Other people attract gnats, and a few unfortunate souls attract flies. I attract spiders. I HATE spiders.

I didn’t always hate them- I grew up with “Charlotte’s Web”, and as a small child, I thought EVERY spider was Charlotte, and wouldn’t let my mom kill them. And then I got my first spider bit. I hated spiders ever since. I understand that they are beneficial for keeping pests out of gardens, but they need to stay the F*** out of my home. Yesterday, I woke up with two spider bites above my eye. Great, big, red, swollen itchy bumps of archid hatred.

My normal course of action is to smear black salve all over them until the swelling goes down. Normally these bites are on my foot, or my arm, so it’s not particularly noticeable. But the S.O.B.’s bit my FACE. And let me just say, I PITY the next spider I see, because I am going reap a retribution upon the likes of which the world has never seen.

There is one up side to these bites- it’s the perfect excuse to drink Turmeric Chai by the gallon. If you haven’t had a chance to read our WTF spotlight on it yet, you can give it a quick skim HERE.

Clearly my camera skills could use some work…

One of my favorite drinks is a big soup-sized mug of turmeric chai, but I don’t often have an excuse to binge on it. As far as chai’s go, it’s warm, it’s invigorating, and it doesn’t came loaded with caffeine like traditional chai made with black tea, so I can drink it before bed without worrying that I’ll be wide awake for a few extra hours. Big bonus. Plus, the strained spice blend makes a nice face wash for my seriously sad looking skin. You can make the chai with a milk substitute like almond or soy milks… but it won’t have the exact same skin properties. Say what you will about dairy- it’s really awesome on your face!

Also, I really love spice. SO if you know that you can’t do really spicy things, you may want to dial back the amount of black papper that the recipe calls for- I made it to have a little bite. No belated pun intended.



1 Tbs ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 generous pinch ground clove
2 green cardamom pods


1. Mix the spice blend in a sauce pot with 1.5 c. milk (or milk substitute)

It may look like your spices aren’t doing a good job of mixing in with the milk. Don’t worry, we are going to strain them out any way!

2. Over low heat, gently heat up the mixture until it gives off steam. Remove from heat and cover with a lid for 5-10 minutes

This step will make your chai extra bright and extra spicy!!

3. Strain the mixture through fine mesh coffee filter or a piece of paper towel folded into a cone.

Using a standard size strainer will let a lot of the ground spices though, so you want something really fine like this.

4. Add honey to taste.

A bowl of happy delicious yellow chai!

5. ENJOY!!! And also don’t throw out your strained spice mix yet!

See all that sludge? That’s going to be your face wash, so don’t chuck it!!


  1. Discard the cardamom pods.
  2. Massage spice blend into face and neck with clean hands for 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too dry, add a little water to thin it out.
  3. Rinse face well with warm water, pat dry, and follow with your favorite moisturizer.

And there you have it, a recipe for a delicious and sunny beverage AND a face wash to give your skin some glow, all in one simple recipe!


DIY Cucumber Spa Water

I’ve been having great fun all week with the rainstorms coming through. People think I’m nuts, but I adore rain. The light pitter patter as it begins, the crackling as the rain gets heavier, all building up to crescendos of thunder and lightning- and the smell of a fresh rain can’t be beat! I did my best to capture it with The 1st Battalion of the Spring Empress… But my fragrance blend pales in comparison to the real thing.

Having said that, I’m not the biggest fan of clouds. It seems like such an oxymoron, that I love rain and hate clouds… But I do. I get so blue when it’s overcast and gross out. And the air gets so disgustingly muggy. Rain and clouds? Yes, since the rain has to come from somewhere, I can overlook my hatred of clouds. No rain and clouds? Unforgivable mistake on the gods part. My Friend Who Remains Nameless jokes that I’m like a flower- I need lots of sun and lots of rain. Not enough sun, and I will wilt.

We’re coming off a really delightful storm, so the air is still clean and bright, and best of all, all my herbs are freshly washed! 🙂 so I decided to put together another spa water. I’ve been living off of AMP energy drinks, so my skin (and body) could use a little hydration!


This one is my favorite Go-To spa water in the summer, since the Mint Monster outside is so prolific! (Seriously, we planted maybe three mint plants a few years ago, and now we’ve got a 20’x10′ mint jungle. And we’ve TRIED to rip it out and return it to it’s former little 5’x5′ patch… It never works.)


1 cucumber, sliced

1 large lemon, sliced

1 handful mint (I used spearmint and peppermint)


Some form of vessel to hold it all.

As with the last spa water recipe, it’s super easy. Just layer the cucumber slices, lemon slices and mint sprigs in the container (I used a huge glass jar), top it with filtered water, and refridgerate it for at least an hour before enjoying!

I can usually get a week worth of water from this- everytime I fill a bottle or a glass, I add more water to the jar. I have a huge event this weekend, and am going to be filling every available thing with a lid, since the last thing I want it to get a dehydration head ache.

What do you guys think of this recipe? What did you think of the last Spa Water recipe?