Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Best Day of the Year

Mother's DayThe Best Day Of The Year!

The first post I read on Facebook this morning was a friend saying how this was his favorite day of the year. I though this was strange, especially from a man. Though as the day went on I started to understand more of why he felt this way.

Everyone took to Facebook and Twitter to express their feelings for their mom. I quickly noticed two distinct groups of people; Those who expressed their love and gratitude for the “best mom in the world” and those who miss their mom and wish they were still here with us. Regardless of which group you belong to it is clear to see everyone loves mom for the same reason.

As I went through my day I thought about my mom a lot. Suddenly I stopped as I just realized everything I do and who I am is because of my mom. Like many people, my mother is my best friend. She is there for me everyday regardless of my mood. She knows me better than anyone else. What do you expect, most of what I know was taught to me by her. She has taught me how to love, how to share and how to give. She has taught me how to keep a home; cooking, cleaning and don’t forget laundry. Though most of all she has taught me about family and being thankful for the little things. So today I stop and say thank you for the one thing I take for granted every day. Thank you mom! You are an amazing mother and have done a wonderful job of being a mom.

In the end we are all grateful for the woman who gave us life, but we are just as grateful for the woman who has been by our side and has taught us everything we know. This is why mother’s day is the best day of the year. Thank you to all the mothers who have made us who we are. May we follow in your footsteps and share that love and wisdom with the next generation.

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Digestive Candies

I have been looking for ways to support my family's digestive system lately.  While discussing it with a friend, she reminded me about some herbs and spices that would do the trick.  The problem I have with this is how do I get my family to eat them.  I spoke to her again and this time she suggested candies.  I"m not excited by this idea but eventually I realized I could make my own.

I'm not sure what my family will like, so I have decided to make 3 different types of candies. One is a gum, one a chew and the last a hard candy.  I will share one recipe today and the other two in future posts.

After looking over all the herbs and spices, I have decided to start with mint. To soften the flavor for my preschooler, I am going to add lime to it.  Here is the gum recipe I used:


6 oz beeswax
mint essential oil
lime essential oil


Place beeswax in a small glass bowl.  Place the bowl into a pot of water to create a double boiler. Over medium heat mix the wax as it melts into a liquid.  Once melted let cool a minute then add essential oils. Mix well before pouring wax into candy molds.  Place in the refrigerator to harden.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Spicy NingXia Red Soup

This recipe comes from the kitchen of Lindsey Elmore.

This nourishing soup is spicy yet savory and delicious.  

1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
100 g wolfberry
1 small red chili, diced
1 and half cup Vegetable stock
Olive oil
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Garam Marsala
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tbsp Cilantro + more for garnish
Salt & Pepper

Soak wolfberries overnight in water.  Strain reserving the water to make tea.  

In saucepan sautee onion and garlic in oil until soft.  

Add chili, wolfberry and cumin. Simmer for 10 minutes.  

Add tomatoes and vegetable stock.  Simmer some more. 

Season to taste with spices.  

Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and blend in blender. Garnish with more cilantro.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Many Uses Of Essential Oil Toothpaste

I have been working on decluttering my home.  In doing so, I have been working on cutting down on the number of products I use and buy.  I am trying to find products with multiple uses.  Recently I discovered that toothpaste can be used for a number of things.

It all started with a tub of Thieves Aromabright Toothpaste.  Here are a few of the ingredients.

Calcium carbonate                                 Coconut oil                        Sodium bicarbonate
Peppermint oil                                    Spearmint leaf oil                          Clove oil
Ocotea oil                                         Cinnamon Bark oil                         Lemon oil
Eucalyptus Radiata oil                           Rosemary oil

This started me thinking about what else I could use these ingredients for.  I began by using this toothpaste in a few areas of my home.  To my surprise it worked wonderfully. Over time, I started  adding additional oils to the toothpaste and eventually began to make my own multi-purpose paste.

Here are a few things I use my paste for:

1. Brush my teeth of course.

2.  Deodorant! 

3.  Splinter Remover

4.  Bathtub scrub

5.  Bites & Poison Ivy

6.  Stain remover on clothing

7.  Immune booster 
    (I apply to the feet and neck.)

Keep an eye out for post on how to make your own multi-purpose past and a discussion on what oils should be on your list to consider for this paste.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Quality Time

How long does it take to make popcorn?  Ask any kid and they can tell you.  Three minutes is all it takes! First you remove the cellophane.  Then you place the bag in the microwave.  Cook for three minutes.  Now you can enjoy your popcorn.

Making popcorn wasn't quite like this when I was younger.  Making popcorn was a family event. It took time!  This was quality together time.  The invention of the microwave has made cooking easier in many respects.  However, it has also eliminated some great bonding experiences and quality family time.

Why are we always in such a rush?  Why not take a few extra minutes today to spend with your family?  Make some popcorn!


1 Cooking Pot with Lid
Cooking Oil
Popcorn Kernels
Brown Grocery Bag


Pour cooking enough oil into your pot to cover the bottom of the pot.
cover the bottom of the pot with popcorn kernels
Cook over medium heat
Popping subsides, pour into brown bag and shake.
This removes any oil that remains.
Add salt to the bag and shake some more.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Market Basket by Clever Container

The Insulated Market Basket by Clever Container is amazing.  I was shocked by its size.  This basket is 18 inches wide and stands 12 inches tall.  I was really expecting something so much smaller.

The outside of the bag is made of a sturdy canvas.  This durable canvas is waterproof and is easy to wipe clean.  The inside of the bag is an insulated plastic. This too is easy to wipe clean and is waterproof.  A metal bar lines the outer top rim of this bag and provides stability. This metal rim keeps the mouth of the bag open for easy access.  The remainder of the bag does not have support bars so if not full, the bag does collapse onto itself.  There is a zipper closure on the top as well as a sturdy metal handle for carrying. The metal handle folds down for storage when not in use.

What really makes this bag useful is that it can handle hot or cold foods.  This bag can fit most standard size crockpots.  I was shocked that with a little manipulation it was able to hold my over-sized crockpot too.

When not transporting pot luck dinners, I keep this bag in my car.  Hot summer days require extra attention.  I pack drinks in it as I run around town.  I use it for my refrigerator items on my grocery trip and leftovers when we go out to eat.

This bag is so versatile.  I love it and highly recommend it. You can purchase this as well as other Clever Container items here Clever Container.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Farm Stay Vacation

My family loves to travel.  We enjoy seeing new places & learning about new cultures.  Though with a young child this can be challenging at times.  This year one of our vacations was a Farm Stay.  This turned out to be the best family vacation we have ever taken.

Our Farm Stay was to Amish Country in Lancaster, PA.  Though there are many wonderful farms you could stay at all over the country.  I'm sure you can find a similar farm stay experience close to you.

Never heard of a farm stay!  Well you are in for a treat.  A farm stay is exactly what it sounds like. You get to stay on the farm.  No, this is not just a stay in an old farmhouse on an abandoned farm. This is a real working farm with animals, machines and farmers.  Generally farm stays offer B&B type accommodations.  Sometimes it is in the farmhouse or other buildings on the grounds.

Each farm is different with what they offer.  So look around.   A farmers breakfast is usually served. Chores are generally not require though participation is always welcome.  Many places offer classes like making cheese or other cooking classes, sheep sheering  or gardening.  It truly is an experience for all.

We stayed at Verdant View Farm which is currently an active dairy farm.  They offer rooms in the main farmhouse or in a farmhand home that was build in the 50s.  We stayed in the main house.  Our room was small but comfortable.  We rose early to go help milk the cows and gather eggs.  Morning breakfast is served family style at the long farmers table in the living room.  We were served a multi-course meal that included fresh items from the farm and surrounding area.  While there we experienced yogurt, eggs, raw milk, fresh baked muffins, and beef sausage.  The freshness was amazing!

The rest of our day was spent playing on the farm.  They have a dog, numerous cats, goats, bunnies, chickens, pigs and cows.  We played in the barn and climbed on the farm equipment. We wandered through the gardens and played with the animals.  We even sat and watched the old steam engine that rumbles through the pasture.  Running in the wide open space was even exciting.

Verdant View is surrounded by Amish culture.  So we did go off the grounds a few times to eat, shop and sight see.  JJ was not happy about this.  He continually asked "Can we go back to Old McDonald's farm now?"  I'm still amazed at how much fun he had doing what seemed like nothing.
Lucky for us there were tons of children his age there.  They all ran around together and I was able to sit and watch.  So, even I got to vacation!

If you decide to head out to Lancaster for one of their farm stays, don't forget to take a look into a ride on the Strasburg Steam Engine.  It was well worth it.  Tickets can be booked online in advance. We went with the dinning car and ordered a Hobo lunch.  We also visited the Train Museum across the street. Inside they have old trains that you can touch and view.  A trip to see the trains is an experience I highly recommend.

If you are looking for a family friendly vacation that includes cheap entertainment for your children and relaxation for you, take a look at a Farm Stay.

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