Sunday, December 23, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Here's to another holiday gift. It's a small one but so lovely with the cool, dry weather. I made these peppermint lip balms before with Amanda Soule's recipe and had some trouble with the honey staying mixed in with the other ingredients. It didn't take away from the balm-ness, but it looked a little messier than many lip balms. I didn't color this batch at all. Here's hoping they stay all smooth looking! doTERRA peppermint oil in the recipe since I know it's therapeutic grade oil. As a side note, I did this little project while attempting a bigger one: cold process soap. I truly experimented trying to imitate Greenstone Soap's Tangerine Calendula blend. I had dried calendula flowers around, and when I got some bulk essential oils (not from doTERRA but rather from Bulk Apothecary), I got tangerine this time. We'll see if I was in any way successful. I had run-away hot (caustic!) soap too since my shoe box didn't seem to contain it (even with freezer paper laid in it). I scheduled this adventure for this weekend since a couple of weeks ago, I went to one of Greenstone Soap's Workshop and learned a lot. I wanted to put some of the knowledge into practice right away so I didn't forget too much. Another great resource for soap (and other self-care products) is Renee Tougas' tutorials. Lotions and hand creams are next, and I have a few books and recipes I'm looking to try.
Here are wonderful greens and veggies from our garden, Taylor Creek Farm and broccoli from another farm (friend to Taylor Creek's). It's surprising to see all this green goodness this time of year, but be encouraged. I'm not saying January will look like this, but maybe it will? This is the first year we're growing food in the Fall/Winter. It's all the first year we've had a CSA relationship, and the Taylors will keep us in produces as much/long as they can. We're talking three varieties of kale, different greens (beet, kohlrabi, collards), baby romaine, cabbage, brussels sprouts (not pictured), radishes (not pictured) and fennel. I know this time of year doesn't feature brightly colored fruits and sweet vegetables, but it's rich none the less.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Eric and I are experimenting with a new-to-us sort of handmade gift. We want to make them for the girls and for cousins and such for Christmas. The idea came from Amanda Soule (as so many do!) with supplies and a tutorial from here.
I will learn how to make more and more cleaners since I'm tired of worrying about the ingredients in what we buy and the large price tags on them. Laundry soap is one thing in my future. For now, I've done vinegar-herb cleaners; and lately I've been working on Jillee's Citrus Enzyme Cleaner.
As another handmade gift, I tried Camp Wander's Woolen Hand Warmers. They are meant to be heated and inserted into pockets on our way out in the morning to keep our hands warm. I deviated from her recipe in rice and oil amounts and stuck with Peppermint. (I didn't see a need for warming smells when it's early in the morning and I'm trying to get spry for the day.)
Recently, Learning Herbs' John Gallagher hosted Aviva Romm doing a free webinar about Winterizing our kids. It was a terrific education, and I took lots of notes. Some things I took away were a garlic lemonade recipe that I want to try out, ice pops (made of a mix of apple juice and a mixed tea infusion that makes me think of our fairy tea from this summer--which we haven't needed or tried yet since it's a treatment often), immune boosting supplements, echinacea tincture hidden in juice (haven't tried yet) and using elderberry syrup as both treatment and prevention. Z doesn't care for the syrup so we do a few M&Ms afterwards to kill the aftertaste. I'm sure that doesn't gell with limiting their sugar intake to prevent sickness, but it's a fair compromise in our house. We still haven't worked in the extra Vitamin D.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Jillee's recipe that includes beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil and then added therapeutic grade lavender and peppermint essential oils (from doTERRA, of course) to each bar. Tonight I worked on how I might wrap them up as well.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
SouleMama, I realized that Elizabeth Mitchell has a new album called Blue Clouds. It's wonderful! (We already adore You are My Sunshine.) It just keeps playing all morning. One thing I can say, too, is that if things seem a bit out of sorts, loud, grumpy etc., her music has a certain power to distill the day into something more peaceful.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
I wish we had taken some photos today mainly because we just had a great time together. St. Matthias Episcopal was so generous to open their doors to us so we could have a common place to learn and work. This morning we came in with crock pots and a few tools and walked out with soap! I even got to use the rosemary from our CSA bundle this week in my soap.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
One of our favorite uses of beeswax is little molds for shapes befitting whatever our season. When we get ready to pour in the wax, we add some essential oil to the beeswax (lavender this time) and spray the molds with a cooking spray. Then we pour in the liquid wax and watch the shapes thicken. Before they completely set, we poke holes somewhere so that they can be hung as ornaments, sun catchers or gift packaging.
Heat beeswax in a double boiler.
We won't be doing the traditional ironing of leaves between wax paper sheets as we did hunting for leaves in Petersburg, VA so many years ago. Instead, we'll opt for the soothing smell of beeswax to coat our leaves from hiking today. Then, my plan is to sew them into a simple garland for Autumn.
Friday, October 19, 2012
This book is a wonderful read to stay focused and not miss the real intention we parents have in our hearts when we're still. So many issues are raised: too many for me to list. I remember Amanda Soule mentioning this book as a recommendation, and she seems slow to preach too loudly about parenting. I could hear in it the echo of her and Steve's words about their kids and what they need from their parents: "all they need is for you to love them." It's good to remember. This book talks about practical things as regards that message. I hope I'm not blowing it off by not discussing things further, but I definitely consider this one high on the parenting books list.
Some books I want to read are: -Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko -Raising Girls by Gisela Preuschoff -Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron -Lighting Fires: Deepening Education through Meditation by Jorgen Smit -The Secret of Happy Children by Steve Biddulph -Mary Oliver: New and Selected Poems (a favorite poet) -Connection Parenting by Pam Leo -Billy Collins: Horoscopes for the Dead (a favorite poet) -Women's Power to Heal through Inner Medicine by Sri Swamini Mayatitananda -Calm and Compassionate Children: A Handbook by Susan Usha Dermond -Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein -Building Resilience in Children and Teens by Kenneth R. Ginsburg -God Is Not a Christian by Desmond Tutu -Above All, Be Kind by Zoe Weil -Making Supper Safe by Ben Hewitt. You know I have it in me. It might take a long time, but this is the current list. Some books from my last list were partially read because I didn't feel the need to plod through it all. One of those really great ones was "Spark" which connects the brain to exercise. Fascinating, but it didn't take long for him to make his case for me. :) Also, I might finish; but I am probably done with "Raising Happiness." It just got kind of long. Don't know about that one. A magazine I'm in love with: Taproot. It's quarterly.
Z made falling stars (salt dough baked and then painted with acrylic autumn colors and glittered) for her Michaelmas party guests. E made some too (with washable paint and messing in the dough steps). Of course we needed glitter. They turned out beautifully, and they went with the coffee filter leaf craft we found (again, I'm lost about the source again). We made a tree out of them all in addition to giving away stars. The stars are part of the Arc Angel Michael's story of throwing them down to light the way for all people who also fight evil. It makes sense with all the meter showers this time of year. One year, I'd like to try the felted shooting stars with the girls.
The book reviews are short and sweet these days and FEW. I'm taking classes at night so it has drastically cut down on my pleasure reading. I found Wheat Belly to be a fascinating book. Completely fascinating.
Z did make one with her marker already, but we had to give that to one of her former teachers. She is looking forward to drawing the faces on the other stones we painted orange today with acrylic paint. We were inspired by a project over at No Time for Flashcards. The Picky Apple gave us this idea. the Artful Parent has such fabulous ideas (like this one), and her e-book "The Artful Year: Autumn" is currently available for a pay-the-amount-you-can price. Wow! We love her book. We'd like to try her apple cheddar handpie recipe soon among so many other crafts!
When I saw it on SouleMama, it seemed so easy and potentially kid-friendly. It probably is, but my experience was lonelier this time. Z did watch and "help" me draw the pictures that would become our stamps. She had the ideas about what should be there etc. I had trouble with the ink or fabric paint in terms of amounts. I thought the Halloween one would turn out worst, and it turned out best. (I didn't try to use fabric paint or fabric with it though.) We'll probably still use the bags we stamped for Christmas presents since it's homemade and all.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
We're proactive with the traditional medicines like claritan or nasonex, to be sure. Those things are just year-round things we do at home (all four of us does at least something) to prevent allergy troubles. But this week has been just plum awful for our noses. I thought I was going down sinus-infection-hill last night, but amazingly I bounced. Such was today's trajectory, and after the small things we can do for ourselves, I'm starting to feel a little better and believe I'll sleep well. doTERRA, I use OnGuard (diffused, back of the neck), Breathe (on my chest) and simple Oregano (on the bottoms of my feet at night) essential oils. Also, the neti pot is a regular fixture with salt and warm water. In addition, I'm happy to report that Urban Moonshine's "Immune Zoom" has proved effective if I take it every few hours. (The taste is actually pretty nice, oddly.) Drinking water, succumbing soon to sleep: these are also most excellent.
We like to put all sorts of food by for the colder times ahead, and fermented projects have been chief among our adventures. For what it's worth, I'd like to do lacto-fermented ginger carrots along with some version with okra. Here's in our next installment of drink: peachy peace wine.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
For E at Christmas time, I have here a dolly's blanket. I made the quilt part with Physh during my sewing lesson. Then I sewed flannel on the back and did a fancy stitch X across it to keep the pieces better together (apart from the edges sewn all together).