Wednesday, August 9, 2017

We got a farm cat!... Kind of.

About two, maybe three weeks ago, I was outside, and their was this cat! She was a bit skittish but she was soooo sweet! Now that she has been around awhile she has gotten even sweeter! She's kind of a dope too. And by dope I mean she falls off of things, and she will sit with one leg hanging of the table, and she will be totally fine with a three year old boy yelling and jumping and waving sticks around (attempting to impress her) but when he make a very quiet indescribable almost growling mucus noise with the hose to the ball pump, she flees is fear. Although, she does seem mildly and sometimes very impressed with Thomas' (the previously mentioned three year old) antics. Which is odd in and of itself. 

So basically she is perfect. Except she lives in our crawl space. Did I mention their is a mummified cat under our house too? My husband found it while working down there. Maybe she likes the company? I'm not sure, but what I'm sure of is that she needs to not go into heat and bring all her friends over to party down there. (We're getting her fixed soon.)

Also I made a cake this week and it was pretty so I took pictures. 



I made it with xylitol and maple syrup because I have been in a baking mood and I didn't want to get sick off of all the deliciousness. It turned out so pretty though! It's basically the hershey's special chocolate cake but with like 1/2 cup of xylitol and 1/2 cup maple syrup instead of 2 cups sugar. Oh, and with cream cheese frosting because I wanted it to be pretty. Also, I used natural sprinkles and they worked really well. They didn't bleed at all! They sure as heck did when I messed up on those cupcake bath bombs, oh man!!!! (I added glycerin to them and they exploded. [not like nitro glycerin explosion, more like a very slow volcano experiment.])


Did I mention this is the first cake I've ever made like this that turned out remotely good looking? Thats Why I'm making such a big deal about a not particularly spectacular cake.


We harvested our first carrots out of our garden! The aphids and the birds kept eating them so I had to plant them twice and still only ended up with six! They were so good, but probably not worth the effort, haha! Also they all ended up with legs. Obviously my soil needs a lot of work. (Rocks and compacted soil make them have multiple roots.)



 The cat again! Well and me. Thomas loves taking pictures so you get one with me in it for once!


Lastly, I've been getting into weaving. I need to make a loom but I wanted to try it out so I used an embroidery hoop. It was way more fun than I thought it would be. I'm really looking forward to trying some new stitches. Is it called stitches or weaves, or what?


Anyhoodles, I might have something more interesting next week, like a healthy ice-cream recipe or something. OOOOO! Or candles!! 

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

How to make kombucha without a scoby.

I like to make my Kombucha from a fresh start every year. I don't drink that much kombucha during the winter, so when it starts getting warm I just buy a bottle of plain kombucha to start a new batch. From their I just save a cup of kombucha and a scoby to make kombucha for the rest of the season. This way I'm not storing a scoby all winter, trying to keep it alive. 

If you'd rather watch the video on youtube click HERE.


* I give a few extra tips at the end so make sure your volume is up towards the end of the video if your turn it of from the music. I also explain how to make kombucha vinegar. 

This method works every time! I do like to check to see how big the culture is on the bottom of the bottle, and I will choose one with a bit more culture in it. Just heat up a gallon of water to a boil and add in a cup of sugar. Brew your tea (black, green, white, or red. Certain herbal teas may kill your starter.) in the water then let it cool. Add it to a jar with your bottle of kombucha and cover with a tea towel. Let sit for 5 to 10 days or until a new scoby is formed.


Previous Kombucha posts:
How to make Kombucha and why its good for you.
Kid friendly Kombucha (sweeter without extra sugar)


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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bathroom Stool DIY



I had a bit of a problem. We were redoing our upstairs bathroom and moving up their. My downstairs bathroom has a huge vanity, that is way to big for the space in my opinion but the nice thing about it is that I can keep my makeup box right on it. Moving to the upstairs bathroom though I had a problem again of not having space for my makeup box. We put up shelves in this weird closet space across from the sink and I left a shelf for all my daily used things to be left out looking pretty. Thats where I keep my makeup box. However, when I want to put on my makeup I had no where to put my box! Enter Pintrest. 

I was thinking something like this would be pretty. Plus it has lots of storage. Skinny to so it could maybe work. 
Apartment therapy

Another option was maybe something shorter. Has some storage and can go under the sink more so that size wouldn't be as much of an issue. 
frenchcountrycottage.net

A fun third option would be a little step stool that I could store some things on, but it wouldn't really be tall enough for my makeup box.
kellyelko.com
In the end I actually didn't do any of these... Instead I did an option with no storage because I didn't really need the storage their. I have plenty of shelving across from my sink where I actually keep my makeup box so the main thing was just to have a surface to put the box on while I did my makeup. My upstairs bathroom has a bit of french country going on, and a lot of gray and white. The only color I had was from my hand towel, and that was white and a light pink. So I decided to go with a geometric paint design on a basic wooden stool. Plus the stool was free, so thats a bonus! (Thanks grandma for letting me have your plant stool.)  

First I wanted to sand it down to just wood then stain it with a tea stain and oil it. But it was way to difficult to get the whole thing sanded really well so I just sanded the top all the way down and sanded the rest enough for a good coat of paint. 

My husband modeling the sanding for me. 

After sanding.

 After staining with tea. You need to do a few coats of tea and it must be oiled to bring out additional color. 


After oiling with hemp oil. 

 I decided that I didn't like all the wood so I got out some chalk paint and free handed the design. It probably would have turned out cleaner if I used tape but I would also need to be able to use the tape well, and I just didn't have time for that. But I liked the look overall. 


 The single bit of pink on the top is the same paint I used on the legs. I used a paint that I didn't need to seal on the legs, but of course I sealed the top. 



It tucks in nicely when I'm not using it, and I have a bowl and tray for any hair pins and jewelry that I keep on it.


I post a video and a blog every week, if you want new posts emailed to you then don't forget to subscribe over on the side -> 

P.S. I'm working on a new schedule, I'm thinking blog on Tuesday and a video on Saturday. I really like the idea of doing a separate blog from my videos every week, but I will still be posting the video to my blog too. Also I'm working on finding a new subscription manager so that you will get posts emailed right when they come out instead of the day after. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How to make milk kefir with kefir grains and raw milk

Making kefir with a grain is very easy, and in my opinion much easier than using powdered starter. When using a kefir grain instead of the powdered starter, you also get a lot more probiotics.

To make kefir with a kefir grain, just add your kefir grains to a nice clean jar. (I usually like to make a quart at a time.) Then add in your milk. Put the lid on and place in a darker area for 12 to 48 hours, depending on the temperature of your house. Usually during the winter it takes longer than the summer, for most of the time 24 hours will be just fine. You will know when it is done by it having a buttermilk kind of tang to the smell as well as a healthy yeasty smell, like rising bread or beer. It should also be at least a bit bubbly. Strain out the grains with a non-metal strainer. At this point you can rinse them in non chlorinated water but it is not necessary. Put them in a small jar, cover with milk and store in the fridge or go ahead and make another batch.

For a second ferment, take your strained kefir and add fruit. Either blended/mashed berries, or a lemon rind are my favorites. let set for another day and you have a tasty drink!

To make kefir cheese let the strained kefir set out until it separates. Then scoop out the top creamy layer for a delicious spreadable cream, or scoop it out and strain in a cheesecloth until it is even thicker. The bottom layer is whey. You can make all sorts of things with this! Some more popular things to do with it is making homemade sodas, and cultured vegetables such as pickles and beets.




When making kefir with raw milk it is important that you have strong grains. If you order your grains through the mail then you must soak your grains in pasteurized milk before putting them in raw milk. This is because the raw milk has its own probiotics that can take over a week kefir grain. The first time you make kefir with raw milk and your new grains, make sure you use fresh milk, that way the bacteria in the milk hasn't grown so it will have a lower chance of overtaking your kefir grains. If your grains are nice and healthy though then you should not have any problems. Often times I use the last of my milk from that week to store my kefir in or to make kefir with and it does just fine.

When you have made enough kefir, store it in the refrigerator in fresh milk for up to two weeks, changing out the milk half way through. If you still don't need a lot of kefir at the end of those two weeks, make a small batch or two of kefir just to help it stay healthy. If your not in the mood to drink it you can always use it in place of buttermilk. So for things like, biscuits, fried chicken, pancakes, or for cakes and things that the flour is soaked with the kefir overnight to make a more nutritious batter.

The reason for storing milk in kefir is so that it has something to live off of while its in storage. Kefir grains live off of the sugars in milk, which is very helpful for people who are sensitive to lactose or for people who are trying to not have as much sugar in their diets.

Cows milk will make the kefir thicker usually, while goats milk will turn out a bit thinner. If you use a lower fat milk it will not be as thick, and it will also need to be re-fed with some whole milk.

You can also use cream or half and half to get thicker more creamy results. You can use a tablespoon or two in some cream to ferment it so that your kefir grain doesn't get coated in the cream. If you do ferment the cream with your grains, just make sure to rinse them off, otherwise they could get a crust on them. The crust is removable though and your grains will be fine.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How I use a beauty blender to apply powder foundation


Recently I have been using a beauty blender to apply my powder foundation. It has been working really well for me. The result is a light feeling base that still lasts all day. It works so well in fact that I decided to make a video to show you how I do it!

If you prefer to watch on youtube click HERE.


My mom gave me this beauty blender to try with my bb cream, but I like my silicone sponge better for that. I'm not sure what made me think of it, but I decided to try the beauty blender with my powder foundation and boy was I surprised! All I do is roll the beauty blender in the foundation, then roll it on my face taking care not to drag it so that I don't pull my skin to much. I also like the curve of it because I can easily add more coverage to other spots without it being blotchy. 

Thats pretty much it, have a great week!

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DIY Green Tea and Rose Bath Jellies

For some reason I had thought that bath jellies made from tea was already a thing, but when I went to look for a recipe I couldn't find a single one! All I could find was diy lush shower jellies, which is great but not at all what I wanted. So I figured that I'd make some strong tea, mix it with some gelatin and see if it would work well in my bath. Any you know what? It was perfect! To watch the video click the video below or go directly to my youtube link HERE.



Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of boiling water
  • 1-2 tea bags
  • 1-2 Tbsp of grass-fed gelatin
  • 2 Tbsp of Rosewater

Steep the tea for about 10 minutes to make it nice and strong. Whisk the gelatin with some hot water to bloom the gelatin. Whisk in the tea make sure its still at least warm. Then mix in the rosewater and poor into your mold. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or until set. Take out of the molds and use in a nice warm bath. Refrigerate the extra.

I use about 1/3 to 1/2 of the recipe in my bath and I like to put it in when the water is running with the hotter water so that it dissolves more effectively.


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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Forest Bathing, what it is and how it can help.

Forest Bathing is way cool. In Japan, shinrin-yoku or Forest Bathing is a valuable tool for anyone wanting to improve their quality of life. All you do is go to a natural environment, and walk in a calm and leisurely manner. It is so simple, and like most simple things, it is highly effective. The benefits include, reduced stress, boosted immune system, improved focus, increased energy level, improved recovery time, and lowered blood pressure. Benefits that others have observed include a higher connection to the environment, a deeper connection to their intuition, and an increase in happiness among many other benefits. How cool is that? Just simply getting outside to a natural environment and just simply walking around can have such huge benefits! 




I like to use a few essential oils in my diffuser to get a similar effect from the natural compounds that the trees give off. 
  • Eucalyptus
  • Pine
  • Cyprus
  • Cedarwood
  • Douglas Fir
  • Frankincense
Oils that I like to pair with these include,
  • Lavender (for relaxation)
  • Rosemary (for focus)
  • Peppermint (for energy)
  • Cinnamon and clove (during cold and flu season)
  • Lemon (for a sense of freshness) 
I hope this quick post inspired you to go out and explore your environment or to at least take a quick walk around the block! See you next week! 

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