Charlotte & Castel

Collaboration with The Saltwater Collective

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Photo by: The Saltwater Collective

Photo by: The Saltwater Collective

We recently collaborated with friends at The Saltwater Collective on an exclusive Sea Salt Soap line now available on their website!

They are an "impact-focused lifestyle and clothing brand dedicated to ocean conservation". Their clothing line is gorgeous and their mission is all about the ocean, so naturally we teamed up! All their beautiful and functional pieces are made in Toronto and sustainably sourced, material, packaging, inks and everything! They're doing some pretty amazing work, check them out.

See their newest collection http://www.thesaltwatercollective.com/

Check out the line http://www.thesaltwatercollective.com/collections/soap

Our New Interior Scents!

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We are so excited to announce our new Interior Scents are available for shipping out July 1st! There are 3 scents to choose from. BLOOD ORANGE + LAVENDER, CEDARWOOD + BERGAMOT and GERANIUM + KEY LIME.

Made in small batches, from all natural ingredients containing only therapeutic grade pure essential oils and purified water, they are the perfect alternative to air fresheners, dryer sheets and car sprays.

Instead of the use of dryer sheets, when laundry comes out of the dryer or off the line outside, gently mist bedding, towels and clothing for a delicate and fresh scent that lingers nicely.

To freshen living spaces or car interiors, a generous spritz around the room will leave a beautiful scent to enjoy, especially when guests are arriving, its such a great way to welcome company into the home.

No alcohol, no solvents or solubilizers, no synthetic fragrances or colours, just pure essential oils that are healing and safe to breath in, better for the environment and household!

Packaged in glass amber bottles that will protect the mixtures from light exposure which can degrade the quality of the essential oils. Our letterpressed labels are glued by hand, by us, with a glue that is all natural and does not require solvents to remove, making it better for our waterways and making it easier to re-use the bottle which we strongly recommend.

A gentle shake or a full rotation of the bottle will mix the water and oils together to prepare to mist. Mist in intended area and enjoy!

 

HRVY Goods Co. Journal Interview

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Photo by HRVY Goods Co.

Photo by HRVY Goods Co.

We were recently interviewed by Kane Carpenter of HRVY Goods Co. A small Detroit leather goods company that handcrafts beautiful leather cardholders, key chains, key tabs, document holders and business sleeves. All lovingly made in their studio with true craftsmanship, care and attention to detail.

We  connected by Instagram and have been following each others beautiful images since then. It's so great to connect with like minded companies and sharing our inspirations with each other!

Thanks Kane for showcasing us, we really enjoyed the interview! To read the interview http://www.hrvygoods.com/journal

Check out http://www.hrvygoods.com they have some gorgeous leather goods to swoon over!

Style Files in Canadian House and Home

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One of our retailers Souvenir Studios was recently interviewed and showcased in Canadian House and Home for May 2016 issue. We are super excited that our PINE + LAVENDER SEA SALT SOAP was spotlighted!

Check out the article if you haven't seen it, page 34! 

If in Toronto, stop by Souvenir Studios located on College Street West, it's a gorgeous space filled with the most beautiful and thoughtfully curated goods, including our range of Charlotte & Castel Sea Salt soaps!

Soaking Chia Seeds!

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Chia seeds are a bit harder to digest when just simply sprinkled onto a salad or added to granola, but with a bit of time and water, these little seeds become easily digestible and really nutritious. Packed full of protein, high in fiber and full of good fats and Omega 3 fatty acids. If you're looking for some more info on chia seeds and why they're so good, head on over to Well-Being Secrets for  http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/benefits-of-chia-seeds/ After soaking, these seeds become a gelatinous mixture, making it easy to add to shakes and juices.

Here's how:

Use a clean jar and measure out the the chia seeds and liquid in a ratio of at least 1:3, for example, 10g chia seeds to 30g water or coconut milk, almond milk or any plant based liquid. Stir and let sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight is best. This mixture can last between 3-4 days, so make enough to last you a couple of days! We add these soaked seeds to orange juice in the morning, our afternoon smoothy and simply as a shot in the mid-morning as a quick energy boost!

Enjoy!

3, 2, 1...Crêpes!

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We have crêpes on Sunday mornings. Usually with fruit, always with coffee and sometimes freshly squeezed juice too. No syrup, no jam, just sprinkled sugar on top.

They are so easy to make and so good!

To be able to remember the recipe without the recipe is simple, the ratio of ingredients is 3 : 2 : 1 (3 eggs : 2 cups milk : 1 cup flour).  

Recipe for Classic Crêpes:

In a medium sized bowl sift together:

1 cup all purpose flour

1Tbsp. sugar

pinch of salt

In another smaller bowl add together:

2 cups milk (whole or 2% is nice due to the fat content in the milk helps with the texture and taste of the crêpes)

3 eggs

Gently break up the egg and mix together. Slowly add in thirds to the flour mixture, whisking in to avoid lumps. Add all the liquid until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous.

Preheat a frying pan on medium/high heat and add a bit of oil. If the pan is smoking, it's too hot! Once hot, ladle in the crêpe mixture and swirl in the pan to thinly coat the bottom, how thick or how thin the coating is when pouring the batter in will determine the thickness of your crêpe. So a test run of the first one or two will most likely happen until you know how much to pour in. I like to use the same size ladle each and every time, then my crêpes are always the same thickness. Some like they're crepes super thin and others like them thicker, it's your choice really!

We like to eat them while they're hot, so as soon as they come off the pan onto the plate we sprinkle on our sugar (cinnamon sugar is nice too) and they're rolled up and enjoyed.

This makes about 8-10 crêpes, depending on the thickness. Enough for 2-4 people.

 

Happy Earth Day! Growing Microgreens and Repurposing Our Packaging!

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In celebration of Earth Day, we thought we would share how we reuse our packaging of our soap boxes! 

There are so many benefits to growing your own microgreens, a bit like sprouting except in soil. They are the shoots of salad vegetables that can be grown from a variety of different seeds including herbs, vegetables and grains.  They grow relatively fast, from the time of planting to the time of cutting and eating can take between one to two weeks! Picked or cut with scissors after the first leaves have developed these tiny shoots are busting with flavour, texture and colour!

Anywhere with a lot of light, enough water to keep the soil moist and you have an indoor garden that will provide lots of nutrients and vitamins.

I've used any of the following seeds to grow: Basil, arugula, swiss chard, radish, chickpea, mustard, beetroot, spinach, carrots, sunflower seeds, amaranth seeds, broccoli, kale, pea shots, pac choi.

Perfect for the urban gardener, they can be grown just about anywhere!

 

Coconut Granola Recipe

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We make our own granola with organic coconut oil, it has a beautiful coconut flavour and the kitchen smells wonderful when you're baking it!

Coconut Granola:

Makes about 12-14 bowls

400g old fashioned oats

60g unsweetened, shredded coconut

80g raw almonds flaked or chopped (if you don't enjoy almonds add pecans or cashews instead)

75g raw pumpkin seeds

25g flax seeds

20g chia seeds

20g dark brown sugar

35g pure maple syrup

10ml pure vanilla essence

2g sea salt

70g coconut oil

3 pinches of cinnamon powder (optional)

Toss all the dry ingredients in a large bowl excluding the coconut oil and maple syrup. Warm the coconut oil with the maple syrup either by microwave or on the stovetop in a pot, once melted pour over the dry mixture. Mix until fully combined.

Bake at 325F/170C in the oven, turn halfway through baking and make sure you fully stir the granola on the baking sheet before returning it back to the oven. Remember you are trying to dry out the mixture a bit while baking it so it needs to loose a bit of moisture. Bake until the mixture is light golden and drier looking. This should take about 30-40 mins.

After this, you can let it cool and store in an airtight container. Or you can add some dried fruits to the mixture.

50g sultana raisins

50g dried cranberries or dried cherries

50g chopped pitted dates

You can add of of the dried fruits or none, it's up to you and what you like!

Activated Charcoal

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Our PINE + LAVENDER Sea Salt soap contains activated charcoal. It not only looks beautiful but it has some wonderful benefits for the skin too!

It is naturally derived from Bamboo or Coconut shells. Ours at Charlotte & Castel is derived from Bamboo.  

The activated charcoal absorbs and binds with environmental toxins and dirt deep into the pores, drawing toxins and impurities out from the skin.  It calms and frees up congested skin, helping to clear the pores of blackheads and bumps. It also restores and strengthens the skin barrier due to its gentleness and softening effect on the skin.

It helps the over all look of the skin of the body and hands by reducing skin pigmentation and discolouration and maybe even making skin look younger!

Not only that, but it is a natural deodorizer, perfect for the shower after sports and yoga!

 

Coconut Oil

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The base of our Sea Salt bars is coconut oil. The benefits and uses of coconut oil are endless. A great and informative health blog to read about natural ingredients and well being is Well-Being Secrets. Packed full of great info on why coconut oil is so wonderful for you, here's the link  http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/ .  Head on over and see why it helps to hydrate, condition and strengthen skin tissue. It contains high amounts of Vitamin E, which is known to help restore damaged skin. It can help skin heal faster after a sun burn or an infection.

You can use it as makeup remover by massaging a little amount around the eye area and gently wipe the excess off with a soft cotton cloth. No need to rinse your face afterwards, the benefits of the oil will help with under eye creases and elasticity! 

After a shower, slather it onto your entire body for the ultimate skin moisturizer. Or you can mix the oil with almost equal parts granulated sugar and any addition of essential oils and it is a wonderful body scrub in the shower!

Coconut Oil and Sugar Body Scrub:

75g granulated sugar

100g coconut oil

A few drops of your favourite essential oil

You can just mix the two together with a spatula until fully incorporated. Add your essential oil blend and mix until combined. Or slightly heat the coconut oil to make it easier to mix but if it is too warm it will also dissolve the sugar. If you do over heat the oil, let it cool to room temperature and then mix the sugar and EO's in. Store the mixture in a air tight container and keep it in your bathroom so you can use it in the shower!

If you want a deep conditioning hair treatment, slightly warm a medium pea size amount and work it through your hair from 1/3 of the length to the ends. Wrap it up with a towel and let it sit for a couple of hours or preferably overnight to get the full benefits of soft, shiny and healthy hair. 

You can cook with coconut oil too! It has a very high smoking point which makes it wonderful for stir frying and searing, by replacing the uses of vegetable oil and butter instead with coconut oil, making it a healthier choice.

We even make our own granola with coconut oil, it has a beautiful coconut flavour and the kitchen smells wonderful when you're baking it! Please see our separate journal entry for Coconut Granola!

Coconut oil is a true staple in our kitchen and on our beauty shelf!

 

Exchanging Flavours For Scents

Charlotte & Castel
Exchanging Flavours For Scents

A little short of two decades, I have been a chef, a baker and a pastry chef instructor.  I have had the opportunity to live and work in some of the most remote and adventurous places in the world.  Food, flavours and smells have always excited, intrigued and captivated me.  I have spent my life chasing after the perfect flavours, freshness of ingredients, exotic spices and herbs and the power of my imagination has kept me searching and creating.

In the past couple of years, my hobbies and other interests have come into full light.  The very things I enjoy about food and cooking have now interwoven with a different medium of art, soap making.  I began to learn the characteristics of the oils, how they behave and their abilities to moisturize, nourish and benefit the body.  Researching essential oils and their aromatic uniqueness, therapeutic qualities of calmness, uplifting or re-energizing, I began to realize there are more similarities in cooking and soap making, more interchangeable skills in what I have been doing, and what I was beginning to love doing so much.  

The very things I respect and love about cooking now began to show through in my soap making. Creating and researching new recipes, developing aromatic combinations, the additions of clays, salts and natural extracts, the steeping of herbs and flowers are all important in the making of cold-process soap.  I realized my steps each day have only slightly changed, I am still weighing and mixing diligently, pouring and cutting with precision and waiting with great patience for the end product to present itself to me and satisfy my expectations.  

More than anything, as a chef, the happiness you feel when you see someone enjoying what you have made, makes everything worth while.  I think, more than anything else, that has kept me creating over and over again.  The personal satisfaction of making something beautiful, something someone will enjoy so intimately, eating or bathing, something that will change another persons day and make it better, now this is the best part of it all.

Our Online Store Is Now Open

Charlotte & Castel
Online Store Now Open

Here at Charlotte & Castel, we are proud of the leaps and bounds we have made since launching our product line early November!  We are very excited to announce our online store is up and running!  

If you haven't tried our Sea Salt soap yet, this is a great time to try!

Bon Lavage

Charlotte & Castel
Bon Lavage

We set sail at Toronto Urban Collective yesterday. It was an incredible experience and we are happy we were part of it. Thank you to everyone who supported us. BON LAVAGE!

Sea Salt

Charlotte & Castel
Sea Salt

I'm always amazed at the feeling I have when I swim in the ocean.  My skin feels tighter, nourished and my wounds heal as if almost by some sort of miracle.  After days of swimming in the ocean, my skin is always visibly clearer, smooth to the touch and hydrated.

The ocean is filled with so many minerals and nutrients making it difficult to replicate in skincare or soap.  When I first began to experiment with making my own soap, I felt there was always something missing from the recipe.  Moisturizing oils, check.  Gorgeous smelling and therapeutic essential oils, check.  Smooth, creamy butters, check.  But there was just something the soap was missing.  I have spent many years on the ocean and when moving back to the Great Lakes in Canada I was missing it, the feeling I so loved and longed for again.  

I began to add sea salt to my soap bars and quickly realized it was the missing ingredient.  Now my skin not only enjoys the benefits of sea salt but my memories of the sea are renewed, it is part of my morning ritual and my night time regime.  Many times as I lather my body and face, I find myself drifting back to the calming waters and the lapping waves of the ocean and then I open my eyes and smile.

Connected To The Ocean

Charlotte & Castel
Connected To The Ocean

“I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came."  John F. Kennedy