Please Join Us at Treat Yo’ Self Artisan Market on 2/8!

treat_yo_self_2_8_15We hope you can join us for Treat Yo’ Self, an artisan pop-up event at Derek Brown’s trifecta of Shaw Neighborhood restaurants Eat the Rich, Mockingbird Hill and Southern Efficiency. The event will be held on February 8, from 3:30-8:30, and we’ll be selling Valentine’s Day gift sets for him and her. Each venue will will offer food and drink specials for the day and will feature a music soundtrack curated by Derek Brown and One Love Massive.

Treat Yo’ Self is a pre-Valentine’s holiday market offering locally made distinctive gifts for from a hand selected group of DC-area artisans chosen for their consistency in quality, appearance and sustainability. It’s a perfect way to get something special and different for yourself or your boo this Valentine’s Day. 

Hope to see you there!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Art Alley, Rapid Falls, SD

I came across this street art sculpture in Art Alley, in Rapid City, SD. Every inch of the alley is filled with paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Anyway, because I view art as creation, and creation as an expression of love, I wanted to share this image with you.

I’d also like to share my recipe for heart-shaped onigiri (Japanese rice balls). It’s perfect if you are looking for a simple, not-your-typical Valentine idea.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Have an Eco-friendly Valentine’s Day!

Herban Lifestyle Bath Bonbons made with Fair Trade Cocoa Butter

This post was written by Katie Peige, Herban Lifestyle’s Sustainability Associate

This Valentine’s Day, you can show your love for the people in your life and your planet with eco-friendly gifts and experiences. Herban Lifestyle offers a range of bath and body products that are made with natural, organic, and fair trade ingredients, which you already know from reading this blog. But what about some other Valentine’s Day treats and traditions? Here are some ideas for gifts that are kind to you, your loved ones, and the planet:

• For cards, go paperless with e-cards or get crafty and re-make some cards out of old cards or magazines. Another fun option is to send a grow-a-note card that has seeds embedded in the paper so you can send a card and flowers all in one! Greenfield Paper Company offers a huge selection, as do several Etsy sellers, including girl*in*gear studio, who has some gorgeous plantable Valentine cards. Petco also carries them as does Capitol Hemp, and My Organic Market.

image copyright girl*in*gear studio

• Flowers travel long distances to get to us, often from South America requiring a lot of fuel. Together with the pesticides needed to grow them, cut flowers can have a very large carbon footprint. This Valentine’s Day opt for a potted plant or an organic, local bouquet of flowers. Check out the very sustainable Green Space for bouquets and plants.

image copyright Divine Chocolate

• Show your love for the world and your gift recipients by going with organic and fair trade chocolate this Valentine’s Day. There are many brands with exquisite products, like Divine Chocolate. Mmmm, it’s orgasmic! Remember to look for organic and local wines while you are at it!

Herban Lifestyle Fuzzy Valentine Soap

• Save water, bathe together! And bring some of our earth-friendly bath products to add some sassy fun to the experience.

• For date ideas, check out the Eat Well Guide to find local and sustainable restaurants in your area or head to the local museums and parks via the Metro system.

• Plan a staycation in the DC area, its all the fun of a vacation only locally and definitely screams green both for the environment and your wallet! Plus, there are many wonderful Smithsonian museums with free admission, all of which are Metro accessible.

image copyright Smithsonian Museum of American Art

• If you do decide to travel, check into a green hotel that seeks to reduce their water use and have a low impact on the environment. You can search for green hotels using the “Green” Hotels Association webpage.

• Give cco lingerie: feel sassy and sexy in organic cotton, organic hemp, organic silk, recycled fibers, or Lenpur, a material made from white pine tree clippings. It’s the gift that satisfies you and your partner and is available for men and women. Check out Treehugger’s guide to sustainable lingerie here.

image copyright EarthSake

• Sleep on organic cotton or bamboo sheets. You’ll sleep soundly knowing that your soft as silk sheets have a lower impact on the Planet.

• If this turns out to be one of the most important Valentine’s Day ever, spare yourself from conflict by purchasing responsibly sourced diamonds and fair trade metals. Or go vintage: A family heirloom or beautiful antique ring makes a very romantic statement.

And, of course, check out the Herban Lifestyle website for our fun Valentine gift sets that will really get you in the mood!

How to Make Onigiri (Japanese rice balls)

heart-shaped onigiri

The past week’s snow storms have given me and my husband an opportunity to catch up on some films I have wanted to see for a long time. For years, we had both heard of the genius of Akira Kurosawa (as the Bare Naked Ladies say, “Like Kurosawa, I make mad films. Okay, I don’t make films, but if I did they’d have a samurai”) and we finally had a chance to see for ourselves. Over the past 10 days, we have watched Seven Samurai, Sanjuro, Yojimbo and Rashomon — all brilliantly written and acted, and beautifully filmed. His works definitely live up to the praise that I have heard all my life. My husband and I are now official Kurosawa fans.

One theme that I noticed flows through all four movies, is the eating of white rice. It was considered of great value to the characters, who lived in 11th to 16th century Japan. In Seven Samurai, people are presented with onigiri, or rice balls. And this got me thinking about a project I had wanted to undertake for some time. Given that it was Valentine’s Day, I was inspired to try making heart-shaped onigiri!

A couple of months ago, I noticed a small Japanese market on U Street. Even though Hana Japanese Market has apparently been there for over a year, I had driven past it many times before I discovered it. I was thrilled. As far as I know, there are no other Japanese markets in DC. There are plenty of Asian markets in the DC area, but they don’t carry some specialty items that I used to easily find in stores in Daido Market in White Plains, NY and Fuji Mart in Greenwich, CT.

onigiri-making supplies

While shopping at Hana Market, I picked up some supplies to make onigiri, with the idea that I would try my hand at making these simple, delicious rice balls. This included short-grain brown sushi rice, large flat sheets of nori (dried seaweed), furikake (in this case, a dried mixture of sesame seeds, shredded nori and salmon), as well as a set of onigiri molds.

I started by cooking the rice according to the package directions. It came out perfectly, with enough stickiness that the rice would hold together, without being too gummy.

half filled onigiri mold

I then pressed enough rice into a wetted heart-shaped mold to fill it half-way deep (it’s important to wet the mold each time to keep the rice from sticking to it). This is actually a mold that I bought at Daido the last time I was in White Plains, but had never used — Valentine’s Day seemed like a good occasion to break it in.

half-filled onigiri mold with an umeboshi

I placed an umeboshi (salty pickled plum) in the center.

Then added more rice to fill up to the top of the mold.

Then I placed the top of the mold over the rice, and pressed down to compact it.

I then took off the top of the mold, flipped it over, and pressed on the bottom to release the onigiri.

heart-shaped onigiri

Et voilà!

finished onigiri with nori decoration

I then decorated it with a band of nori for visual interest!

It was so easy, and so fun, I tried some different variations. This one has a small amount of cooked salmon.

rice with furikake mixed in

And I also mixed some furikake into the remaining rice to make it look more festive. This also adds some interesting flavor and texture to the plain rice.

finished onigiri

Here is the final variety of onigiri! It was super easy, and fun, to make these cute and healthy Valentine’s Day treats.

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Herban Lifestyle’s Etsy Store Featured on NBC New York!

Herban Lifestyle Men's Grooming Set on the set of LX.TV

Recently, Herban Lifestyle was honored to be part of the Etsy Valentine’s Day gift recommendations on NBC New York’s LX.TV. In their segment entitled “With Love from Etsy,” Herban Lifestyle Man’s Grooming Set was one of 6 items to be featured. You can view the full segment, which has some fun Valentine’s Day gift suggestions, by visiting the NBC New York website.

Thank you Etsy! And thanks to LX.TV, too!