Tuesday, October 17, 2017

DIY Recipe of the Week {Chemical Free Home}

What's in your cabinets?   

Why am I passionate about getting the yuck out of my home?  Because I don't want to be in constant pain because my Endo is flaring up.  I know, it's pretty selfish, but it's the catalyst for change in my home.  For me, essential oils are another rug on my Healthy Living Ladder.  It's something that I'm choosing to do to help my family.
You can read more about that here

Did you know that 26 seconds after exposure that chemicals are found in measurable amounts in the human body?    

Did you know that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health studied 2,983 ingredients in our products at home—and found 884 toxic ingredients? 


How about making deodorant with essential oils?





Hello?  Are you still with me??  


I know - WHY?  and WEIRD!

But here is the thing, there are a lot of questionable ingredients in store-bought deodorant.  Like, 
parabens, triclosan, propylene glycol, aluminum compounds, and fragrances.  Go and search the interwebs for those bad boys and then decided if making your own deodorant is weird.  Actually, it is still kind of weird because there are natural alternatives out there.  BUT, by making your own you have much more control over the texture, coloring, and smell.  (Listen, I'm all for charcoal and know it's greatness, but I don't need to put charcoal on every part of my body!).  

Here's the recipe that I use.  Obviously, you can substitute the type of oil that you want to use and if you'd like to use white or yellow beeswax.  Do your research on what benefits the different types of oils have for your skin type.  Also, decide on the scent you like or would like to wear.  I've made this unscented as well as with Thieves Essential Oil (because I have a serious addiction to that scent).  You do you on this part, and remember that you can mix up the essential oils to create your own unique fragrance.  I'm a huge fan of the woodsy scents.    

Reuse an old container (that's what I do), purchase empty containers online OR use a small mason jar (I've done this as well).
4 tablespoons of coconut oil (I use the fractionated coconut oil now, but have used the cooking kind in the past and when in a pinch.  Almond oil is great, too, so is jojoba oil.)
3 tablespoons of Shea butter
2 tablespoons of baking soda
3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder
4 tablespoons of beeswax
20 drops of essential oils if you'd like it scented.  If not, omit.  

Instructions - 

Put the shea butter and the beeswax inside a glass bowl inside of a pot with water (we are double boiling here).  You want a slow and even melt happening and no chance of burning.  
With a wooden spoon, stir these two ingredients together slowly as they melt and then add your coconut oil (or whatever oil you are using), and incorporate all of the ingredients together until melted. 
Turn off the heat, but leave the glass bowl inside of the pot with now hot water.
You are now going to add your dry ingredients to the mixture.  Slowly add the baking soda and the arrowroot powder and stir to incorporate so that there are no lump or bumps.    
Now is the time that you would add any essential oils that you would like to add.

Transfer the mixture to either your deodorant container or your mason jar.  It will take about 45 minutes for the mixture to harden in the container.  

I find reusing a deodorant container the easiest because you can just apply it from the container.  If you use the mason jar you need to spread it on like a salve using your fingers.  

  


*I only uses Young Living Essential Oils for me and my family. Young Living is the only essential oil company that has a Seed to Seal Guarantee, so I know that the oils I am using for my family are pure and unadulterated.  If you would like to start your own oily journey and start living above the wellness line click here and choose "Member" to get started today or go to www.youngliving.com and follow these simple steps



   




Monday, October 16, 2017

ART Skin Care System {Young Living}

Statements made in this blog post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  
This post is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure disease.  



Thank you for sticking around as I went through all of the oils that come in your Young Living Premium Starter Kit.  Hopefully, you have a foundation in place so that you feel comfortable using those oils!  Let's do a quick recap of the posts in case you were unable to follow along:
Lavender Essential Oil here, Peppermint Vitality™ here, Lemon Vitality™ here, Copaiba Vitality here, Frankincense Essential Oil here, Purification® Essential Oil here, Thieves® Vitality™ hereDigize® Vitality™ Essential Oil here, R.C.® here, Panaway® Essential Oil Blend here, Stress Away® Essential Oil Bend here, and Ningxia Red here.

I also shared my love of Thieves Cleaner here, and my love of
 Thieves Laundry Soap.

And, last week, I shared a little about Christmas Spirit.

This week I want to share a little about a new product line that I started using two weeks ago, the ART Skin Care System.  

I have really bad cystic acne that flares up as my hormones cycle through during the month.  So, I figured I'd give this line a try and see what it does for my skin.  My word, it has been working great over the past two weeks.  I'll be doing a recap of it at the end of the month on my Facebook page as I've been tracking the process.  I use the line twice a day (morning and evening) and have also added a homemade charcoal mask once a week (I'll share that recipe on a later blog post).   

Here is the information on the products (as taken from the Young Living website): 

ART Light Moisturizer (30ml)
Water, Isoamyl laurate, Glycerin, Behenyl alcohol, Betaine, Theobroma grandiflorum (Cupuacu) seed butter, Glyceryl stearate, Olea europaea (Olive) fruit unsaponifiables, Sodium stearoyl lactylate, Squalane, Lecithin, Lonicera caprifolium (Honeysuckle) flower extract, Lonicera japonica (Honeysuckle) leaf extract, Glycine soja (Soybean) sterols, Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (Guar) gum, Dipotassium glycyrrhizate, Opuntia ficus-indica leaf cell extract, Sodium phytate, Xanthan gum, Santalum paniculatum† (Royal Hawaiian™ Sandalwood) wood oil, Boswellia carterii† (Frankincense) oil, Quillaja saponaria wood extract, Leucojum aestivum bulb extract, Orchis mascula flower extract, Polygonum aviculare extract, Tocopherol, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Benzyl alcohol (natural)
†100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oil
ART Refreshing Toner (4 fl. Oz)
Water, Alcohol, Heptyl glucoside, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel) water, Glycerin, Betaine, Mentha piperita† (Peppermint) oil, Santalum paniculatum† (Royal Hawaiian™ sandalwood) wood oil, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Orchis mascula flower extract, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Camellia sinensis (Green tea) leaf extract, Lavandula angustifolia† (Lavender) herb oil, Citrus limon† (Lemon) peel oil, Melissa officinalis† (Melissa) leaf oil
†100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil
ART Gentle Cleanser (3.38 fl. oz)
Water, Disodium cocoyl glutamate, Coco-glucoside, Glycerin, Decyl glucoside, Polyglyceryl-4 caprate, Sodium cocoyl threoninate, Sodium cocoyl glutamate, Benzyl alcohol (Natural), Glyceryl oleate, Sodium levulinate, Sodium anisate, Sodium phytate, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Santalum paniculatum (Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood) wood oil, Orchis mascula flower extract, Melissa officinalis (Melissa) herb oil, Citrus limon (Lemon) peel oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) oil
†100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil
Contains corn, soy, and coconut/palm ingredients


*I only uses Young Living Essential Oils for me and my family. Young Living is the only essential oil company that has a Seed to Seal Guarantee, so I know that the oils I am using for my family are pure and unadulterated.  If you would like to start your own oily journey and start living above the wellness line click here and choose "Member" to get started today or go to www.youngliving.com and follow these simple steps


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Farming, Food, and Nutrition - OH MY!

Though technically NOT a "Hey Let's Grow" update, I did want to stick with the Farming, Food, and Nutrition theme today. 
As some of you may know, I was part of this awesome experience a few years back through Illinois Farm Families called City Moms.  You can read my posts about that here, here, here, here, here, and here.

And, then this popped up on my Facebook Feed a few days back. 

Why are we more prone to listen to celebrities?

My question for you is, what do you know about farming, food, and nutrition?  And, what more would you like to know?



Friday, October 13, 2017

VeganMania Chicago

On the heels of attending Veggie Fest last month, I decided it would be cool to attend VeganMania in Chicago.  I got information about VeganMania at Veggie Fest and figured the best way to see everything was to volunteer at the event so I signed up as an event photographer and IT WAS SO COOL!



There was easily one hundred people waiting to get in when I arrived at 9am (doors did not open until 10am). 


The location was at the Broadway Armory in Chicago. 


My word, people, the food - THE FOOD!!






And, I'm not vegan.  But, whatever this is, I wanted it. 


Here is the thing, I'm always looking for other food options and am open to trying new things given my dietary restritions by following an anti-inflammatory diet.  So, attending VeganMania was kind of a no-brainer for me.  I wanted to check out my options. 

Additionally, they had music entertainment



Classes



Cooking Demos (I really wish I could have just sat in on all of them, noted for next year)


Panel Discussions


And lots of vendors


By noon, the place was PACKED!


I learned new stuff and am planning on attending next year, possibly as a volunteer again, but likely not a photographer.  Though it gave me a lot of freedom, I would have loved to have been able to sit in on the panel discussions, classes, and cooking demos. 

 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Scatter Hope {Photo Series}

I know this really great lady who talks a lot about scattering hope.  Actually, she does more than just talking about it, she lives it.  I'm pretty fortunate to know such a person and to have them in my life. So, I thought that it would be cool to do a photo series for the month focusing on Scattering Hope.



There is always good around us.  Sometimes we have to look a little harder or uncover some stuff, but it's there.  There is always good around us.  Look for it.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Anti-Inflammatory Recipe of the Week

In September of 2015, I started Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis.  I share a new recipe each week to help those who may need to modify their eating habits to better their health. 
Food is medicine - You are what you eat 


You can find out more about the Anti-Inflammatory Diet by going here

Snacks can be tricky, sometimes.  I mean, I can only do so much fruit and veggies before I want something crunchy, and I'm not talking celery sticks either.  Let's talk Roasted Chickpeas, shall we?  1/3 cup, which is one serving, will give you about 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.  Dietary fiber is SO important!  And, you need to get it from the foods that you consume, not a chemical cocktail that you add to a drink each day.  The general guideline is 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed.

This recipe comes to you from a Ziplock advertisement.   


Here is what I have done and would recommend -
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
 
While your oven is heating up rinse and dry your chickpeas.  I use canned chickpeas and just dump them in a colander and rinse them thoroughly with cool water. 

Add the dried chickpeas to a parchment lined baking sheet, you are going to want them to be on a single layer, so be sure to spread them out.  

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes on the middle rack of your oven.  

I'd check them after 15 minutes and then hang out by the oven for the remaining five minutes to make sure that none burn. 

Take the baking sheet out of the oven and dump the roasted chickpeas into a heat safe bowl (glass or ceramic), **keep that baking sheet handy** add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the roasted chickpeas to coat evenly.  

Now you are going to add your spices!  GO WILD!  I love garlic and onion, but above are a few other flavor options.  

Once you have coated the chickpeas with olive oil and the spices of your choosing, go ahead and put the roasted, oiled and spiced chickpeas back onto the baking sheet and put back into the oven, leaving the door slightly open and turn off the heat.  This will allow the oil and seasoning to set in and make the chickpeas crispy.  

Leave them in there until the oven has cooled off.  Remove from the oven and place your yummy roasted chickpeas into a storage container or bag of your choosing.     

Now, go forth, and eat great food.  Your dietary limitations should not limit you from enjoying great food. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

DIY Recipe of the Week {Chemical Free Home}

What's in your cabinets?   

Why am I passionate about getting the yuck out of my home?  Because I don't want to be in constant pain because my Endo is flaring up.  I know, it's pretty selfish, but it's the catalyst for change in my home.  For me, essential oils are another rug on my Healthy Living Ladder.  It's something that I'm choosing to do to help my family.
You can read more about that here

Did you know that 26 seconds after exposure that chemicals are found in measurable amounts in the human body?    

Did you know that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health studied 2,983 ingredients in our products at home—and found 884 toxic ingredients? 

How about making your own dryer sheets using essential oils?  


HOW

Grab your pinking shears (because we are not sewing with this project), and cut up some scrap fabric into squares, you're going to want around six square scraps.  Put those square scraps to the side.  We are going to mix up some liquids next.  Take 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar and pour it into a bowl where you will add 8 drops of the essential oil of your choosing.  Mix it together and then pour into a reclosable glass jar (think canning jar or recycle a glass jar close to that size).  Now add those square scraps of fabric, one at a time, and allow them to absorb the mixture.  Put the cap on your glass jar and then flip the jar over so that all of the liquid is absorbed by the fabric.  When you go to use them, simply pull out a few (I use three at a time), ring out the excess liquid and put into your dryer.  Once you pull out your laundry from the dryer, take the fabric squares and put them back into the glass container with the liquid in them.  

WHY

Vinegar softens clothing and reduces static cling.  Add your own sents using essential oils and you have a customizable scent for you and your family.  




Monday, October 9, 2017

Christmas Spirit {Young Living Essential Oil Blend}

Statements made in this blog post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  
This post is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure disease.  



Thank you for sticking around as I went through all of the oils that come in your Young Living Premium Starter Kit.  Hopefully you have a foundation in place so that you feel comfortable using those oils!  Let's do a quick recap on the posts in case you were unable to follow along:
Lavender Essential Oil here, Peppermint Vitality™ here, Lemon Vitality™ here, Copaiba Vitality here, Frankincense Essential Oil here, Purification® Essential Oil here, Thieves® Vitality™ hereDigize® Vitality™ Essential Oil here, R.C.® here, Panaway® Essential Oil Blend here, Stress Away® Essential Oil Bend here, and Ningxia Red here.

I also shared my love of Thieves Cleaner here, and my love of
 Thieves Laundry Soap.

This week I'd like to highlight a favorite oil of mine, which does not come in the PSK, Christmas Spirit.



Why am I sharing about Christmas Spirit in October?  Becuase you should order yours now to make sure that you have it on hand during the Christmas season.

Imagine the smells of orange, cinnamon, and black spruce wisping through the air of your home.  I mean, it sounds divine, image what it smells like - AMAZING!  

I first got this oil in June to diffuse for my Dad because he loves Christmas.  At that time he was at the end stages of his life having been diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer just a few months prior. He jumped on board with using essential oils after I had brought my own diffuser and all of my oils with me to Texas while I cared for him.  Slowly, I introduced the diffuser to him with different oils.  Once he approved of what I was doing he asked if they had anything that smelled like Christmas.  Yes, yes they do.  I ordered Christmas Spirit right away for him and started diffusing it once it arrived.  And, I swear to you, for me it smells like Christmas.  So, if you are interested in starting your Christmas holiday season off once December first rolls around I strongly encourage you to purchase your bottle of Christmas Spirit now.  

*from the Young Living Website*

How to UseFor aromatic use. Diffuse or sprinkle on logs in the fireplace, on Christmas trees, on cedar chips for dresser drawers, or on potpourri. Use all year round.


IngredientsCitrus aurantium dulcis† (Orange) peel oil, Cinnamomum zeylanicum† (Cinnamon) bark oil, Picea mariana† (Black spruce) leaf oil

† 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hey Let's Grow

*I am participating in the Monsanto Hey Let's Grow program as a blogger this year.  Materials in this post were provided by Monsanto.  This is a sponsored post.  The opinions in this post are my own.*


I will be putting to bed our garden which never grew in the next few weeks.  I'm wondering what your process is?  You know, if you have one. 
What we do is first cut down all the growing things.  This year it'll be the 6-foot high dandelions and thistle, as well and the monstrous crabgrass.  There is a rouge pumpkin growing in there right now.  It must have come from a seed from last year's pumpkins that got composted in there because I sure as heck didn't plant it. 
After the pumpkin is harvested and the growing things that should not be growing in a garden are all cut down we fill in the garden with leaves from our yard.  This, we feel, is important for a few reasons - 1) It breaks down to add nutrients to the soil 2) It insulates the ground so that it's easier to till in the spring and 3) Acts as kindling when we burn it all down in the spring prior to tilling.
This is just one way that we prepare for planting next year.  

  
How do you prep your garden area now for planting next year?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Purple Bags

As you can see to the right  > > > I'm a Young Living Distributor.  One of the ways that I help spread the word about using Young Living Essential Oils is by passing out purple bags.  A week ago we had a Purple Bag Stuffing Party at my friend Paula's home.



I've been focusing on being intentional about my business and about how I'm sharing essential oils with others.  I just finished a book study on 21 Days of Prayer for your Business   with a few other gals who are Young Living Distributors.  It was a pretty amazing experience. 

There's this misconception that multi-level marketing is a pyramid scheme.  It isn't.  Here's a fun video that explains it.  Essentially, when you choose to use Young Living Essential Oils to assist you in living above the wellness line and you do so through me you are helping my business.  It's much like supporting a local mom & pop shop.  I'm the "mom" and you are blessing me and my family with your purchases.  It's that simple. 



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Scatter Hope {Photo Series}

I know this really great lady who talks a lot about scattering hope.  Actually, she does more than just talking about it, she lives it.  I'm pretty fortunate to know such a person and to have them in my life. So, I thought that it would be cool to do a photo series for the month focusing on Scattering Hope. 

I live in a village where the unapologetic and flippant disregard to hometown history is currently taking place.  Builders are coming in and tearing down homes that are over 100 years old.  They are requesting variances to build over the footprint, for no easements to exist, for the whole host of other things as well.
I took this photo while out driving over Labor Day weekend.  I chose to share this photo today as an example of how old can be highlighted and transformed with new.  Because what is not seen in this photo is the picnic pavilion just to the left of this barn.  What is not seen is the playground behind me.  What is not seen is the parking lot to the left of the picnic pavilion. 
I am an adamant supporter of hometown history.  I'm a firm believer that local history must be taught to our children in order for them to not only appreciate regional and world history but also to allow them to place themselves within the history, thus appreciating what they are surrounded by. 
But when none of it exists anymore, then what?     






Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Anti-Inflammatory Recipe of the Week

In September of 2015, I started Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis.  I share a new recipe each week to help those who may need to modify their eating habits to better their health. 
Food is medicine - You are what you eat 


You can find out more about the Anti-Inflammatory Diet by going here

You guys!  I swear breakfast can be fun.  You don't have to eat things that you do not like.  Seriously, your food, regardless of your dietary needs, SHOULD NOT SUCK.   You need to do your due diligence and research, research, research.  This is a perfect example of that.  Now, this recipe in and of itself is pretty simple, looks easy and yep, I have all of those ingredients on hand and in my pantry.  So, let's rock this!  WOAH!  Let's take a look at this recipe and break it down to make it anti-inflammatory worthy.  This is where the research comes in handy.  I can eat pretty much anything, with modifications.  First, the recipe - Banana Chia Breakfast Cookies.  So stinking good!   And, Savy Naturalista is really creative!  


Here is how I modified these -

First, applesauce is a sugar alternative.  And, this recipe calls for both applesauce and sugar.  Actually, two different kinds of sugar.  Now, if sugar is fine with you simply follow this recipe as is.  If sugar is not fine here are some options that I've tried and have worked well.  
Option 1 - double to applesauce, and please be sure to use unsweetened applesauce.  Applesauce is sweet as it is, you really don't need the added sugar.  But, do realize that by doubling the "liquid" you will need to add additional "solids" - in my case I increased the flour that I used to get the right consistency. 
Option 2 - run 3/4 of a cup of raisins through a food processor and add that instead of the sugar.  Raisins are naturally sweet and they also blend well with the flavors of this recipe. 

Second, rolled oats.  Make sure that they are gluten-free.  Most are but if you have a gluten intolerance you really should be using the ones marked gluten-free.  But, if you are like me and are just eliminating obvious gluten from your diet the regular canister is fine.  

Third,  flour.  I have used a gluten-free flour mix made of nuts that worked really well.  I've also used gluten-free baking flour that has worked well.  I've also used almond flour as an alternative (that added a great flavor).  

Do not skip the step of mixing the applesauce and chia seeds together and letting it set.  Chia seeds need to soak.  They end up forming a gel-like glob that makes it easier for your body to digest and will aid in you feeling full longer after consuming it.  It's got a whole host of other great effects, go ahead and search the interwebs.  

Now, go forth, and eat great food.  Your dietary limitations should not limit you from enjoying great food. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

DIY Recipe of the Week {Chemical Free Home}

What's in your cabinets?   

Why am I passionate about getting the yuck out of my home?  Because I don't want to be in constant pain because my Endo is flaring up.  I know, it's pretty selfish, but it's the catalyst for change in my home.  For me, essential oils are another rug on my Healthy Living Ladder.  It's something that I'm choosing to do to help my family.
You can read more about that here

Did you know that 26 seconds after exposure that chemicals are found in measurable amounts in the human body?    

Did you know that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health studied 2,983 ingredients in our products at home—and found 884 toxic ingredients? 

Let's talk about cleaning your diffuser, shall we? 

Cleaning Your Diffuser



Probably NOT what you were thinking I'd be talking to you about today, right?  But, it's super important.

First, let's go over normal routine cleaning because it really should be done.  Your ultrasonic plate needs to be wiped down regularly to best maintain your diffuser.  Simply use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and wipe it down.  If there is build upon any other portions of your diffuser (such as the splash guard, the lid, etc...) you should use a mild soap (such as Thieves) and warm water to wash it down and rinse it thoroughly.    And really, if you do this on a routine basis your diffuser should continue to bump along quite well.  

BUT, what if you are in a situation where you do not use your diffuser for a long period of time or have left water in the diffuser without using it for a period of time?  This is what I've done (*make sure that you read your warranty information prior to trying this method may void your warranty*) I've filled up the diffuser with distilled water half way from the max water level mark and have added 10 drops of white vinegar (not distilled white vinegar, but pure or white vinegar).  I then turn on my diffuser for 5 minutes, then shut it off and drain all of the liquid from the water reservoir.  If I still have some build up on the walls of my diffuser or in tight spots I take a cotton swab dipped in white vinegar and clean those areas down.  I then rinse off everything with warm water, making sure to pour all of the water out towards the back of the diffuser, not the front where the power buttons are. Once I've finished rinsing out the diffuser I make sure to wipe it down with cotton balls or a clean cotton rag.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Thieves Laundry Soap

Statements made in this blog post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  
This post is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure disease.  



Thank you for sticking around as I went through all of the oils that come in your Young Living Premium Starter Kit.  Hopefully you have a foundation in place so that you feel comfortable using those oils!  Let's do a quick recap on the posts in case you were unable to follow along:
Lavender Essential Oil here, Peppermint Vitality™ hereLemon Vitality™ hereCopaiba Vitality hereFrankincense Essential Oil herePurification® Essential Oil hereThieves® Vitality™ hereDigize® Vitality™ Essential Oil hereR.C.® herePanaway® Essential Oil Blend hereStress Away® Essential Oil Bend here, and Ningxia Red here.

I also shared my love of Thieves Cleaner here.

This week I want to share my love about Thieves Laundry Soap.

This stuff is awesome!  I have three boys, one is a former Boy Scout, one is a current Boy Scout. They are both active in various sports (baseball, basketball, skateboarding, running....).  I have a 4-year old (enough said).  We are an active family as well.  So, I think I qualified our funk, smell, and grim.  This detergent gets it all out.  AND with only 1/2 a cap in each full load.  Seriously!  And, it's plant-based.  

Bye-bye chemical yuck!  *love it*


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Hey Let's Grow

*I am participating in the Monsanto Hey Let's Grow program as a blogger this year.  Materials in this post were provided by Monsanto.  This is a sponsored post.  The opinions in this post are my own.*

So, I'm interested in knowing what you use to plan out your planting season?  What resources do you use to plan out what crops you will grow, how you will plan out your planting schedule, and how you plan out your harvesting and preserving at the end of the season?

I use various seed catalogs to look for different plants to grow.  There are tons of different seed catalogs out there, go forth to the interwebs and see what you can find.  

I also use the Old Farmer's Almanac.  I love this resource, it is SO cool and has tons of really neat information in it.    

I look to see what other garden bloggers in my area have done and see what they are planning on doing.  



I typically start planning out my garden for the next year when the snow is deep and it's depressingly void outside.  That's usually January or February here.  I'll sit down with some graph paper, my seed catalogs, and my calendar and I'll start to plan out when I need to start seeds when they need to transfer into the ground and then take an inventory of what seeds I have in stock and what I will need to order.

I'd love to hear your process - comment below.  


Friday, September 29, 2017

Veggie Fest

 Last month my son Chris and I attended Veggie Fest in Lisle, IL.


Chris is dairy free (among other things) and I thought that this would be a good opportunity for him to sample some foods to see if they could possibly be options to include in our next shopping trip.  I am what is best described as a pescetarians.  ANYWHO - we went to Veggie Fest to check out some options and to learn more about vegetarianism.  

We were both big fans of jackfruit.  This stuff!  WOW - I can totally see using this as meat alternative as opposed to buying meatless options that are premade (and full of chemicals and additives).


The problem with jackfruit is that it is not readily available where we live.  Either in the fresh or canned option.  And, though, I like the option to have meals in bags, these options, especially vegetarian options are also not readily available near me. So, I'm looking into purchasing it canned from online.  And, yes, I've suggested many a food to my local grocery store with no forward momentum as of yet.  

We were also both fans of the flax milk yogurt option.  This stuff is not runny, like most non-dairy yogurts, and tasted really good.

Chris had lots of questions about boxed water...



He also tried a dairy-free ice cream which he really, really likes.  And there were so many food vendors there.  You could easily exchange your cash for food tokens and then have your pick at vegetarian food to try.  I am so going better prepared next year.

There were also a lot of great speakers in multiple locations sharing on different topics.  There was also entertainment at a music stage.  It is always a nice thing to be around other like-minded folks and it was especially fun to do so with my son.      


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Scatter Hope {Photo Series}

I know this really great lady who talks a lot about scattering hope.  Actually, she does more than just talking about it, she lives it.  I'm pretty fortunate to know such a person and to have them in my life. So, I thought that it would be cool to do a photo series for the month focusing on Scattering Hope.

We are all surrounded by beauty. Sometimes it takes a change in season to appreciate it, a change in perspective to see it, or a change in scenery to notice it...but it's there.



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Anti-Inflammatory Recipe of the Week

In September of 2015, I started Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis.  I share a new recipe each week to help those who may need to modify their eating habits to better their health. 
Food is medicine - You are what you eat 


You can find out more about the Anti-Inflammatory Diet by going here

I tried these about two years ago when Lea and her family came to a Chicago LTYM Alumni picnic at my home.  Actually, it was my husband who tried them first.  He then instructed me to get some, now, because they were good and would go fast.  

Dolmades



How good are these dolmades?  So good that I messaged Lea for the recipe shortly after the picnic and have made them a handful of times over the past two years.  So good that I keep grape leaves in stock in my pantry, just in case.  

Lea's recipe appeared on Vegging for Health by the lovely, Jasmin, so that's where I'm going to direct you today.  It has awesome step by step instructions with photos to go with it!  This was very important to me when I first made them.  The photos made is so much easier to figure out the process. You can find the recipe here.    

Now, go forth, and eat great food.  Your dietary limitations should not limit you from enjoying great food. 


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

DIY Recipe of the Week {Chemical Free Home}

What's in your cabinets?   

Why am I passionate about getting the yuck out of my home?  Because I don't want to be in constant pain because my Endo is flaring up.  I know, it's pretty selfish, but it's the catalyst for change in my home.  For me, essential oils are another rug on my Healthy Living Ladder.  It's something that I'm choosing to do to help my family.
You can read more about tha
here

Did you know that 26 seconds after exposure that chemicals are found in measurable amounts in the human body?    

Did you know that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health studied 2,983 ingredients in our products at home—and found 884 toxic ingredients? 

Let's talk foaming hand soap, shall we?  You can make this with your favorite essential oil or essential oil blend.  Let's get to it.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap


First, you're going to want to either purchase a foaming hand soap dispenser or recycle an empty one for use.  I actually scored three empty ones from someone else and have been using those.   Here is the list of ingredients you are going to use:
  • 12 oz of distilled water (you can also boil your tap water and let it cool)
  • 2 T of liquid castille soap (I like Dr. Bronner's unscented kind)
  • 1/2 t of liquid almond oil (you can use olive oil as well)
  • 3-5 drops of the Essential Oils of your choice (you can add more if you'd like)
Directions:
  • Fill soap dispenser with distilled water leaving 1-inch headspace at the top (to accommodate foaming dispenser)
  • Add liquid castille soap
  • Add the almond oil
  • Add the essential oils
  • Secure the top and gently shake the mixture to incorporate

Monday, September 25, 2017

Thieves Cleaner, How I LOVE You!

Statements made in this blog post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  
This post is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure disease.  



Thank you for sticking around as I went through all of the oils that come in your Young Living Premium Starter Kit.  Hopefully you have a foundation in place so that you feel comfortable using those oils!  Let's do a quick recap on the posts in case you were unable to follow along:
Lavender Essential Oil here, Peppermint Vitality™ hereLemon Vitality™ hereCopaiba Vitality hereFrankincense Essential Oil herePurification® Essential Oil hereThieves® Vitality™ hereDigize® Vitality™ Essential Oil hereR.C.® herePanaway® Essential Oil Blend hereStress Away® Essential Oil Bend here, and Ningxia Red here.


Now, I want to expand out, just a little, and explain some of the other products that you can get through Young Living to help you get the yuck out of your home.  One of my favorites is the Thieves Household Cleaner.  

So, this was one of the first things that I purchased from Young Living after my Premium Starter Kit. I have only ran out of this stuff once (and never again).  I use it for EVERYTHING!  I have swapped out my glass cleaner, multipurpose cleaner, floor cleaner...I've steam cleaned my carpets with this, I use this as a liquid base to make a homemade scrubbing cleaner for my bathrooms, I add it to a load of laundry that is just a little extra funky (think week-long camping trip by two teenage boys in scouts).

This cleaner has literally swapped out every toxic cleaning chemical in my home EXCEPT for my oven cleaner.  The only cleaner that I use maybe three times a year.  And, once I figure out a formulation that will allow me to get rid of that, it'll be kicked to the curb folks.  No joke.  It's out of here.  

And, a little goes a long way.  Wow, that's just kind of the theme with this company.  You only need one cap full of the cleaner to add to 3 cups of water for a multipurpose cleaner, and it costs approximately $0.64 to make a quart of medium level degreaser.  You cannot even buy something like that at the store!

Because I use it for everything (I'm working on the oven cleaner), I keep two extra bottles on hand at all times, in case I get into a cleaning zone.  I also never want to be in a situation where I may run out, again.  Oh, I learned my lesson!