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!! 

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 ->

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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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pink Grapefruit Bath Salts DIY

This recipe is really nice as a base for any kind of bath salt variations that you might want to do, but today I am keeping things simple with this grapefruit version.

This bath salt looks so pretty in a nice jar on my shelf in my bathroom and it makes me want to use it more because I just love how it looks. This recipe has very few ingredients so it is nice for people that worry about allergies especially if you like to give your diy's as gifts. The only thing to think about it the kinds of oils that you use. I'm using grapefruit oil, obviously, because I love the smell. Grapefruit oil is also relatively inexpensive, and with it being the main oil in this recipe that helps keep the cost of any more expensive oils that you might want to use down. Such as, I usually like to add chamomile in this because it is so relaxing, but since the main smell comes from grapefruit I only use a little bit of the chamomile. Alrighty, lets get to it! I have a video that goes along with this diy, watch it below or use THIS LINK to watch it on youtube.



Ingredients

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Himalayan salt 
  • 20 drops grapefruit oil
  • 3-10 drops additional oil if desired, such as lavender, chamomile, rose geranium, etc. 
Directions

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and put in a pretty container, or an ugly container. 
Store with the lid on tight so that it stays dry, and keep away from direct light to preserve the oils the best. 



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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Seaweed Bath Salts DIY

These bath salts make my skin so soft, and they are full of minerals that our bodies need and can absorb through our skin. Plus is smells so good! Watch the viedeo below, or if you prefer to watch it on youtube click HERE



I love to use epsoms salt in every bath that I take because it has loads of magnesium that is so important for our bodies. Magnesium is important for nearly every function of the body. You need it for proper nerve and muscle function, blood glucose control, and energy production among many many other processes. Magnesium can be a bit difficult to get enough of, but thankfully it is readily absorbed by the skin and we can take advantage of that by taking baths with epsom salt. This recipe also uses powdered kelp which is a seaweed that is chock full of nutrients. When we put nutritious elements in our baths we can take in those nutrents and use them without needing to drink them. Like who likes seaweed unless its on sushi anyway? Ooo, those seaweed chip things are pretty good!


Ingredients 

  • 20 drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, peppermint, myrtil, etc.
  • 1 cup epsoms salt
  • 3/4 cup sea salt
  • 3 TBSP powdered kelp


Mix to combine. Store in an airtight container. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup in a nice warm bath.

*In the video I say to use dulse. Dulse is not the same as kelp but can be found in the same area. I'm not sure if it would work as well. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Setting Obtainable Yearly Goals

I like goals, lists, and and writing things down. What I don't like is setting a goal and feeling like I absolutely must do it right away, or start on it right now, which even if I don't set an immediate deadline, I'm still going to feel like it needs to get done right away because that's the only thing on my list, or just one of a few things on that list. For some reason when I have a big list I don't feel as pressured to do everything. Probably because it gives me options to choose what I want to do. When I set goals in this way it helps me to stay motivated and able to get more things done without getting distracted from my list since I have so many options.

I've got another video for you so as always, Click HERE to go directly to the video on youtube or watch it below.


How I do this is every year for my birthday I take the age that I am (or just turned) and I set that many goals to get done by the time my next birthday comes around. I set easy goals and harder goals so that I am able to do the easy ones when I need motivation to do the harder/bigger goals. Setting my goals in this way helps me to stay motivated and to not get stressed and give up. I put them on paper and pin them up so that I can see what I've done and  so that I don't forget what else I want to do. Sometimes Life just gets in the way so I use this method to stay focused.   I like to set things like "exercise every day" because even though I'm not going to exercise in the "workout for 45 min at a time" way every day it reminds me to at least do something, even if its just running around chasing my son I still get my heart rate up. Sometimes I just need to have some wiggle room for a lot of fun.

I like to not have my goals in much of any order, other than maybe if my goals go together. Like say I want to finish painting my house, I'll put that with all indoor house kinds of things, this includes decluttering, getting 6 cross stitches done, etc. Some of you might find it less stressful and easier to do if everything is organized from easiest to hardest, or all in categories, or whatever, just make sure you know what kinds of goals work well for you and what keeps you on track. You can even start small with monthly goal lists to figure out what keeps you the most motivated and the least distracted from your goals. This works for some daily and weekly goals too. But only some. Things like cleaning lists, or sometimes project lists, but of course not things that deserve immediate attention.

I like to write my list down a couple of times, refining it and really getting a list of goals that will work for me. Sometimes I wright things that are just filler because I haven't thought of anything better yet, but once I get to a list that really aligns to my needs I organize them just a little so that they are a bit easier to find, and then I put them on a bigger piece of paper that I can see easily on my pin board.

I like to mark things off as I go, a highlighter usually looks best for me because I can easily see what I've done and because sometimes I will mark out a goal with a pen and add something different to my list. that way I can tell the difference between things I've added and things that no longer align with my life.


  • Make a list of all the things you want done
  • Don't just put boring lame things, maybe one or two of those if its the only way to motivate you to do them, but put mostly things that will enrich your life and bring you joy. 
  • Take the number of the age that you are and set that many goals to accomplish by your next birthday
  • Make sure you have easy and harder to achieve goals
  • Pin them up somewhere that you look often so that you are reminded to work on your goals 
  • Don't forget to tell yourself how awesome you are when you get something done. 





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Friday, January 13, 2017

Recovery and Self Care

I haven't posted anything the last two weeks because I got a ridiculous cold like thing just before new years. Suffice to say it was awful and lasted way to long for my liking. I don't get sick very often so when I do I like to take advantage of the situation and try to enjoy myself. When I was sick this last time I finished reading a book series, colored in a new coloring book I gave myself for Christmas, wore fun colorful socks, took plenty of baths, snuggled in lots of blankets, and drank TONS of tea. Also I whined, acted miserable, and was a general pain in my husbands butt. A nice change from my point of view, haha!

So, when I started to get better I made nourishing broths full of herbs like nettles, thyme, and rosemary. I wanted to get lots of minerals so I salted my food decently, utilized as many herbs as I could, and took baths in epsoms salt. It was nice to take time for myself, however when all was said and done my house needed a little tlc. Once I had enough energy I made sure to try and have fun while cleaning my house. Oddly, having my three year old help me while we listened to music (that annoyed my husband, but he didn't complain! He's such a sweetheart.) really helped. We danced and giggled, threw ourselves onto the bed, played hide and seek and somehow got the house clean.

Now I'm working on getting back into my regular routine. I've really liked not needing to exercise, but it is such an important part of self care that really makes me feel better. I've started a 30 day yoga thing that Tim Senesi is doing, 30 days to the total yoga body. I'm only on day three because of me being sick, but I really like that he doesn't have music and he tells you how to do the poses correctly. Anyway, its been nice to get back into a routine that I don't need to think about. I just go to the next day and do something gentle and not to difficult so that I can give my body time to adjust.

Alright, well now that I've let you know that I haven't fallen off the planet, I'm going back to deciding if I want to paint or color. Have a great weekend and hopefully, if the roads don't get to icy,  I'll have a video up in a few days.


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 -> 

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