Buttery Buttermilk Biscuits

buttermilkbsctsOther than the satisfying pop of a can of biscuits, I really think they are terrible. I feel like anything that has been proven to give you cancer (like heavily processed food has) is supposed  taste good… its been chemically geared to. So I have been on the hunt for a biscuit recipe that not only tastes the equivalent to a Grands biscuit (or way better) and still be somewhat easy. Its been quite the search, not even gonna lie. I wont go into the gritty details about the search because I have to much to tell about the awesomeness of this recipe that I found a couple years ago.

gratedbutterSome voodoo goes into these biscuits, I’m not going to explain why it works because honestly I don’t know, it just works. Basically all your ingredients need to be ice cold. Thats it…thats all the voodoo. This will make those biscuits rise up high and still be moist in the middle enough that you wont have to take a knife to split them in half.

Lets talk butter. There is a stick and a half of butter in these babies. Depending on where you stand with butter this may scare you away,  but if your looking for that sunday morning comfort food…this would be it. This recipe also calls for grated butter… like take the butter to a cheese grater. Weird? Yeah…it works. I have tried to grate the butter frozen and fresh out of the freezer. There are pros and cons of both ways. Frozen makes less mess because frozen butter doesn’t stick at all. After it has been grated, the butter will be in these great little balls that distribute all the buttery goodness evenly. The con would be the amount of force it takes to grate a stick and a half of frozen butter. Got patience?… I do not. So I grate my butter strait out of the fridge then pop it in the freezer while I’m gathering my other ingredients.

Heres the recipe

Dry ingredients:

2 cups  flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

11/2 tsp baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups grated butter

Wet ingredients

1 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

buiscutseggs#1 grate my butter and stick it in the freezer.

#2 Put my buttermilk, oil and and eggs together…

Typing this I realize how many posts I have done about Buttermilk, but if you have read any of them you know that I wont buy real buttermilk because all it does is waste space in my fridge. I still don’t know if I would ever buy actual buttermilk when I could just make it myself. SO…One cup of milk and one tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar. Easy and cheap.

Usually I put the buttermilk, oil and eggs in a jar with a lid. Then I shake the dickens out of it. Then it goes right next to the butter in the freezer.

From there I mix up all the dry ingredients. If I don’t have a mountain of dishes I will use a whole new bowl for this. If I do have a mountain of dishes (which I typically do) I will rush around with my bowl of grated butter, throwing it all together. Then I put it all back it back in the freezer. Then I will preheat my ovens and grease my pans.

buiscitdoughThen I will slowly mix my wet ingredients into my dry ingredients. There is a fine line between to dry and to wet here so take your time. There will be some wet ingredients left over, put them in the fridge or freezer to stay cold. Dust your work surface with flout and roll out your dough to about a half and inch. You should be able to stand a fork by itself up in it. I don’t have a respectable biscuit cutter so I use a wide mouth mason jar… I’m that classy.

If my dough has warmed up while doing all this, I place the greased cookie sheet in the freezer and transfer as I cut out the biscuits. When I am done, I leave them in my freezer and preheat my oven to 400. This gives the biscuits the appropriate time to get good and cold. When the oven is preheated bring out the biscuits and the remaining wet ingredients. Use a brush and brush the tops of the biscuits with it. The original recipe calls for a whole other egg wash I dont like to waste the eggs that my moms chickens had to lay…they have to hurt.splitbuiscut

Bake them for 18-20 minutes keeping a close eye on the underside.

Chrissy*

Posted in Being Self Sufficient, Fun Recipes, Home Recipes, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Why do I feel this way?

Why do I feel this way

Do emotions play a part in how we feel physically? Or are physical symptoms just something we all have to deal with and a part of life? I’ve become very in touch with my emotions since I started treating my depression naturally (read about how I do that here). While I was at the doTERRA convention in September, an amazing woman by the name of Natalie Goddard discussed the “emotional roots to our physical ailments.” The information in this presentation was so empowering and eye opening for me. I’ve been trying to analyze every feeling in my body and my husband is probably getting sick of me asking him, “What are you thinking about most today?” or “Are you stressed? What’s on your mind?” The poor thing is always and will forever be my test subject. I have truly changed the way I think about how I approach treating my physical ailments.

Because I am so excited about this new found enlightenment I, of course, have to share it. :)

Traditionally what we do when we are confronted with an issue is look up the ailment in the Modern Essentials book and treat the physical response. OR we go to a doctor and ask for them to prescribe something to decrease the symptoms. Ever had these strategies/prescriptions not work for you? I now I have…it’s because you are not treating or reaching the underlying cause.

Our ailments can be compared to an iceberg. The physical ailments we experience are the tip of the iceberg that is poking up above the surface of the water. The deeper, wider, thicker part of the iceberg that we don’t see are the emotional roots to those ailments. These deeper emotional roots are tied to the experiences we are experiencing within our lives. Feeling insecure, anxious, or overwhelmed, stressed, angry, hopeless, etc. These and many more emotions, when not address, can cause uncomfortable physical responses. Our body is speaking to us when we have physical ailments. Are you listening?

How our bodies speak to us:

1. A whisper…headaches

2. Talking…migranes

3. Screaming…stroke

It’s important to listen to those whispers and tune into what’s going on with your body and thoughts emotionally. Things you can ask yourself when you are experiencing an emotional response are: What’s going on inside? What am I thinking about right now?

For me it can be hard to dig DEEPER and find that emotional root because I’ve had years of suppressing my emotions (I’m sure I’m not the only one whose done this), but when I’m able to do this I can treat that emotion and deal with it and I’ll know that the end result will be a more lasting effect.

For a great reference on where our emotions are felt in different parts of the body click here. This website gives a really cool visual of the different “hot spots” our bodies create when coping with emotions.

One thing every person in this world has to much of is stress. Stress is like poison to our bodies when we have to much of it in our lives. When stress is experienced it triggers the stress response in our bodies, which then triggers the sympathetic nervous system, which then secretes cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone our bodies produce that helps us to go into “fight or flight mode.” This mechanism is amazing if you have to run for your life from an angry mama bear or fighting off a mugger in a big city. BUT do we want it coursing through our veins all the time…NO!!!!! When cortisol levels get to high our body begins to get worn down. :(

What we all need is inner calm (with or without stressors). When we create our own inner calm it causes a healing response in our bodies. This triggers the parasympathetic nervous system and natural healing hormones are release. I know what you’re thinking…HOW do I do this??

A woman named Lissa Rankin has written a book called Mind Over Medicine. In that book she maps out “6 steps to activate your body’s self-repair mechanisms.” Step 1: Change your diet, step 2: experience a deepening of spirituality, step 3: Feel love, joy, and happiness, step 4: release repressed emotions, step 5: take herbs, oils, or vitamins, step 6: use intuition. I highly recommend you get this book and read it! It goes into more detail for each step; which will help you on your enlightened path. Lissa Ranking has also given an amazing Tedx talk called, “The Shocking Truth About Your Health.” You can watch it here.

Essential oils are a great way to support our emotional roots. Aromatherapy is one of the best ways to experience essential oils when it comes to dealing with emotions. By smelling the oils we will stimulate the olfactory nerve which then stimulates the amygdala. The amygdala controls the processing of memory, does our decision making, and also controls our emotional reactions.

Natalie Goddard is such an amazing woman she created a handout that lists several ailments, their emotional roots, and examples of oils that will treat the emotional roots and therefor support the physical response. EmotionalRoots (1)

Stay in touch with your body and your emotions and you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier you in no time.

Ginny

Posted in Ginny's Journal, Herb and EO Journal, Natural Mommy, Stuff we do, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hardcore Eye Makeup Remover

makeupremoverI have what many would call a “makeup addiction”. Since I am a stay at home mommy I only get to wear makeup for special occasions so I really go all out when I do. Like… an hours worth of makeup. LOVE every minute of it too. I really look forward to taking this time for myself. One draw back for this amount of pampering would be the “aftermath”.  When you put 3 or more coats of mascara on you might as well rent a jackhammer to get it off. Or even worse, when you wear falsies and get to deal with eye lash glue as well as all the mascara concrete. Thats right I just admitted to wearing fake eyelashes…WHAT!?

I have had a lot of store bought makeup removers and there are some that I like (specifically Victoria’s Secret and Mac) but those babies are ExPeNsIvE! I also don’t appreciate all the chemicals that come with them especially where my most delicate skin and eyes (uh that I see with) are concerned. I decided to derive my own formula for makeup remover. I don’t mean to brag but… ITS PRETTY AWESOME.

Lets talk about Aloe Vera gel.

Aloe Vera is super gentle for those sensitive areas around your eyes and is also known for its regenerative properties to damaged skin (like aids in healing burns). Since I’m getting up there in years I would really like to keep the crows feet to a minimum. Aloe even lessens the appearance of dark circles and under eye puffiness. With just around 20 essential amino acids (magnesium, sodium and calcium to name a few) it can be considered an immune booster. Aloe balances the skins pH levels and tightens the areas around the eyes while fighting eye infections. YEAH…its cool.

Lets talk Castor Oil.

Castor Oil is considered a cleansing oil.  Which definitely helps lift away all that junk you put on your eyes. But castor oil can also help combat dry eyes and lessen the appearance of under eye baggage (double threat for bags here ladies). The main reason I considered castor oil for my makeup remover was because of the benefit it brings to the actual eye lash follicle, stimulating hair growth, as well as smoothing and strengthening the shaft. Also cool.

I  also used small amounts of Vitamin E and Lavender Essential oil. Both are know for their regenerative properties. The lavender essential oil is also known to promote hair growth (for those of us who don’t always want to wear falsies). Never put essential oil in your eyes! I used a very small amount here and would not recommend more.

Here it is:

1 TBS Aloe Gel

1 TBS Castor Oil

1 capsule Vitamin E

2 drops Lavander
makeupremoverme
Put this all together in a container and shake it up. You’ll have to shake before every use, much like the store bought stuff. I make this in smaller batches because its best to use the freshest that you can and bacteria can be a really stinker. Smaller batches mean less cause for worry all around… but if you wanna do this on a bigger scale, be my guest. Use a cotton ball to gently wipe the makeup away from your eyes. It comes off pretty quick so a lot of pressure is unnecessary and tugging and pulling on the sensitive skin around your eyes is BAD…bad, bad, bad.

All clean! You also did something good for your skin too!

Chrissy*

Posted in Earthy Beauty, Essential Oil, Natural Face, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wintergreen Grease Patties

greasepattiesSince I started raising bees for the raw organic honey I really wanted to make sure that I wasnt using any form of chemical treatments or artificial feeds on my bees. This is a very sticky subject in the beekeeping world because left unchecked many bee maladies can threaten the entire bee ecosystem which in turn would greatly threaten life as we all know it. Seriously… not even a joke.

I started to notice two or three bees that were baby new outside one of my hives. Upon closer inspection I noticed that they were flawed with withered wings. This is usually a sign of mite infestation. Not. Cool. There is always a presence of mites in a hive but  keeping mite numbers low is definetely a priority. Typically, I treat my bees with occasional (2 at most a month) powder sugar treatments. Apparently, I needed to pull out all the stops. Enter the essential oil.

minsaltThe awesomest thing about essential oils is the versatility in every aspect of life. The first thing I did in respect to my bees was start my fall build up with an alternating regimen of heavy syrup with 10 drops of Melaluca oil and a homemade mixture of honey B healthy. I did this after removing my honey supers of course. If you happen to start feeding your bees before you harvest your honey, plan to enjoy some EO flavored simple syrup with your morning toast.

Also, I decided to try out a recipe for wintergreen grease patties that I had found on my favorite beekeeping website Honey Bee Suite. These patties stay in the hive all winter long which helps the helicopter beekeeper, like myself, rest assured that they have done everything they needed to to beat the winter mites.

Since I currently have one hive (don’t get me started) I don’t need all the patties the original recipe calls for so I halved it.

2.2 Pounds of Sugar

millsalt1.25 pounds Crisco or Coconut oil. (I love coconut oil and hate crisco but I also really like to have money so I did a half and half mixture of the two)

1/2 pound honey (ONLY YOUR OWN! Do not poison your bees with some other bee colony gunk…you don’t ever know! They could have something like nosema or foulbrood)

1/2 pound mineral salt (I took a hammer to four bunny wheel/salt licks and have extra left over for next time)

1.1 ounce of wintergreen essential oil.

To start I milled all of my sugar so that it was a fine powder. You can feed bees regular granulated sugar but there is some consensus that bees cant eat it in granulated form and will just fly it out of the hive to clean up the mess. Typical beekeepers feed bakers sugar for its finer granules. I don’t like to have random things in my house that only serve one purpose so I grind up the regular sugar that I buy in bulk. I also milled up the mineral salt and mixed it on in with the sugar.

When dealing with honey in a recipe, I usually hope that there is some kind of oil involved. If there is, I measure out the oil first, then measure out the honey and dump. It comes right out with little fuss. Nice.

As you can see I’m not using my typical doTERRA brand essential oil. That is because I am not a cajillionair. Plant Therapy makes excellent theraputic grade oils at a fraction of the price and they suit my bees down to the ground especially at this large amount (8.99 for an ounce). Keep in mind, people say that wintergreen is toxic when it touches your skin. In actuality you have to have wintergreen on over 40% of your body before it actually has any kind of effect. If you have hesitation concerning this issue please wear gloves when using wintergreen essential oil. I didn’t because I rub Deep Blue Rub on my husbands shoulder 2-3 times a day and it has wintergreen oil in it. My hands didn’t seem to mind and I am still alive. I did wash my hands vigorously after.

greasepatties2Mix all the ingredients and smush them hamburger style in between two pieces of wax paper. Keep them in the freezer and use as needed. I keep two patties on the top of the frames (opposing sides) in each deep box.

You can make these patties without the essential oil and they will still work. The crisco/coconut oil greases up the bees and if the mites are still able to hold on despite the slippery surface the bees will groom them off in an attempt to rid themselves of the greasy substance. The tasty honey/sugar is also a bonus. The essential oil helps though because if the mites aren’t killed on contact with the patties, the smell will have them heading for the hills…good riddance.

Go Check out the Honey Bee Suite and the original post for Wintergreen Grease Patties.

Chrissy*

Posted in Bees, Being Self Sufficient, Essential Oil, Growing Dinner, Herb and EO Journal, Sisters Grown or Hunted | Leave a comment

Ginny’s EO #6

Ylang-ylangOne oil I consider to be a true God-send in my home is YLANG-YLANG! I love all of my oils and they all serve a great purpose in my life, but ylang-ylang has come in handy many a times. For those of you who have read a couple of my previous posts, you know that I suffer from depression from time to time. Along with my depression I sometimes experience anxiety and catastrophic thinking that can be very difficult to control at times. My thoughts and fears spin violently around and around, out of control in my brain. Within the past year, those fears seem to be more and more realistic and they can consume every waking hour of my day.

In steps ylang-ylang! I can rub this sweet, flowery smelling oil on my feet or chest* and it supports my mind in a way that helps me to relax and calm down. Within a few seconds I am able to find my bearings and center myself. It gives me enough of a pause in my thoughts so that I can bring myself back to the present and remind myself that everything is OK and I have nothing to worry about.

When I diffuse this amazing oil in my house on a stressful or kid-crazy day, my whole family benefits from it’s calming effects. We can have pretty heightened emotions in our family and ylang-ylang has proven to be our go to oil to help us all calm down.

My husband will put 1-2 drops in a capsule when he needs help calming down. He likes the flowery smell, but doesn’t want to smell flowery…if you know what I mean. ;) Apparently it’s not very manly to smell like a flower. This wonderful oil is also great for supporting his high blood pressure.

For the kids I have mixed up my own version of the “peaceful child blend” that works wonders for calming my kids down at bed time. I call it our “Nigh-Night Blend.” I mix the oils in a 10mL roller ball and top it off with fractionated coconut oil.

Here is my recipe:

50 drops ylang-ylang

40 drops of roman chamomile

30 drops of vetiver

20 drops of lavender

20 drops of margoram

These oils combined help support my babies in calming down for a restful night sleep. I rub it on their feet just as they are getting into bed. They like it so much that if I forget to put it on them, they ask me for it.

Like I said, this oil is a God-send! We love it so much in our house I make sure we have a spare bottle, just in case we run out. :)

Ginny

* I have to dilute ylang-ylang with a carrier oil if I’m using it on my chest, otherwise it irritates my skin. This may not be the case for all people. My husband is able to use it “neat” on his skin without any reaction. To see if your skin will have a reaction to this oil, place your finger on top of the bottle and tip the bottle upside down. This will give you less than a drop. Place the oil on the inside of your arm below the elbow joint. You’ll need to wait a day to make sure a rash doesn’t develop. This is good to try with any new oils you are introducing to your body. If a rash develops, you can still use the oil, just make sure to dilute it with some sort of carrier oil.

Posted in Ginny's Journal, Herb and EO Journal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tomato Days!

tomatosauceWe decided to take the plunge and make our own tomato sauce this year for canning. My family loves all things Italian so we go through a ton of tomato sauce. I wanted to cut the crap that comes with canned tomato products and tomato sauce is at the root of everything we use. So! We bought over a hundred pounds of tomatoes. Yeah, we were that serious. Unfortunately we bought our tomatoes from bountiful baskets and they were not ripe and also bruised in places so rotting away at the same time. BOO!! Not.Happy. Probably never buying a basket again. Sorry basket people who think its the greatest thing ever.

The first thing we did was run our tomatoes through the Kitchenaid Stand mixer food grinder attachment and the fruit/vegetable strainer attachment-attachment. I couldn’t live day to day life without my stand mixer and  recommend one to anybody who doesn’t have one to PLEASE go get one…for your own good! From the mixer to the 6 six quart sauce pot, we boiled those babies down. This took well over 2 1/2 hours. It is a lot but I think its worth it. After the sauce has thickened and reduced we ran it through a food processor. In our case the bullet blender. Without the blender the sauce isn’t as smooth as regular sauce but it would probably serve just fine and you could omit this step.

cuttomatoes*On a side note… in some of my research I saw people who suggested  blending the sauce before reducing. IMHO I thought that waiting until it had reduced to more than half would drastically cut the blending time…ummm lets say… IN HALF?!? That’s why I blended last. If there is a specific reason for blending before cooking and you know it please tell me. I would like to know.

sauce1From here we canned our sauce in pint jars. Put the jars in the oven at 350 while waiting for the hot water bath to boil. Boiled the lids and prepared the rings. We put the hot tomato sauce in the jars, wiped off the rim, attached the lids and screwed on the rings. The jars were processed for 35 minutes and all sealed perfectly.

There are plenty of recipes out there that call for ingredients in the sauce. Most notably lemon juice. Adding lemon juice ensures that your sauce stays in the proper ph levels, therefore keeping acid levels high enough to kill things like botulism. I would suggest you take this step to be safe. It doesn’t change the flavor of the tomato sauce. I, however, did not do this with our first batch as my source didn’t mention it.  Since I spent a half a day researching tomato sauce and botulism I can tell you that IN MY OPINION the acid from the tomatoes is enough but adding other non-acidic vegetables could definitely make it an issue. Please do your research. I plan on using this sauce for things like spaghetti sauce an chili both with a simmer time of about 3 hours, which is more than enough time to kill any sort of any kind of kritter (or spore if you want to get scientific about it) even though I don’t believe it will be necessary.

Chrissy*

Posted in Being Self Sufficient, Growing Dinner, Home Recipes, Real Food, Uncategorized, Veggies | Leave a comment

Chrissy’s EO #13

deepblueMy husband has been suffering from Thoracic Outlet Syndrom for years. From what I can gather this probably stemmed from an old baseball injury or probably some other crazy antic that he participated in… there are plenty of those. Basically what it is is a bundle of nerves that likes to set up shop right next to his right shoulder blade. When its at its worst his right arm goes numb from the shoulder down to his finger tips, which isn’t fun when he’s trying to work. Usually, when things are the busiest this stuff really starts to act up, and just two years ago had him miss some work… which really makes him angry, seriously.

He has seen countless physicians, chiropractors and physical therapists to address this problem and so far we have had no luck. We know this can be fixed with surgery, but usually the problem alleviates its self after a days rest and a good massage… from his live in masseuse (maid, cook, exotic dancer…just kidding I would make a horrible maid). Surgery just seems a little extreme right now.

Enter the Deep Blue Rub!! Ha-HA!! This stuff is awesome. Usually, I rub down the upper right quarter of his back with it and I have to tell you that his pain goes away faster and stays away longer when we use it. To top that off, the worlds biggest essential oil skeptic brings me the tube when he needs it. As a man of few words when he’s wrong I will take that as “HE LOVES IT”.

The cool things about doTERRA’s Deep Blue Rub line is that you have a few options. You can buy the oil in a 5ml bottle, a roller ball in 10ml or you can buy a 4oz bottle of the rub. The rub is fairly pungent to the nostrils and can make your eyes water if your using it within a foot of your face but it puts the sauce in awesome… awesome sauce that is (is that slang still in circulation? you never know with kids these days) I have used the oil on bee stings and it also works like a dream.

If your having any type of body ache or pain I would definitely give Deep Blue a try. It helps my husband about once every two weeks and that really makes me happy… and smug when he’s boobing about the price of OnGuard.

Posted in Chrissy's Journal, Essential Oil, Herb and EO Journal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stroller Snuggle Bags

Stroller Snuggle Bag
Have you ever taken your kids out on a walk on a brisk day? It can be nice to catch some fresh air in the months leading up spring or go on a crisp fall walk to look at the beautiful colors on all the trees. The only issue…the cold air and the fact that the kids aren’t moving around to keep themselves warm. I’ve tried piling a big cozy blanket on top of my kids, but guess what always happens??? That blanket always ends up falling off, getting ran over, and ends up covered in mud. YUCK!! Oh the joys of living in a town that has very few paved roads. At that point I have no choice but to put a dirty blanket back on my kids and head home. Walk ruined!! BOO.

I saw a solution on Pinterest several months ago. Of course when I clicked on the picture to go to the website it wasn’t a DIY tutorial, it was an item that was being sold in Europe. I thought to myself, I could totally make that. SO…I did. Now that I’ve done a few, I’m convinced they are too easy to be true.

Below are the instructions for how I made these cozy little bags. If you don’t know how to sew or don’t have the time to make one for yourself, let me know…I’d be happy to sew one for you. I’ll make them to order, so you can pick out your own fabric to please your little munchkin and fit their personality.

Materials:

2-2 ½ yrds cozy fleece fabric

22” zipper

quilt batting

Matching thread

  1. Lay out your fabric (still folded in half). Measure a section of the fabric 40” wide. Cut straight across. Cut this big strip apart at the fold to create 2 sections for the inside and outside of the main section of your bag.
  2. Cut the pillow out of what’s left of the fabric. I made mine 10”x 16”, but you might like yours a little bit smaller.
  3. Then cut out sections of the batting that will fit inside the main section and your pillow.
  4. With right sides facing out place the batting in the middle.
  5. You’re going to sew up the pillow first. Turn in the ends and pin. Sew a 1/2” seam around the edge leaving the bottom edge open .
  6. Now comes the trickiest part of the whole project…the zipper. The reason this is so tricky is because the fabric is so fluffy and there are a lot of layers involved.
    1. Fold the big section in half. Measure and pin how long your zipper will go down the side.
    2. Sew a 3/4” basting stitch down the side. Separate the raw edges (they won’t press very well with an iron, so I didn’t even bother).
    3. Pin the zipper, right side down against the seam, making sure to pin ALL the layers in the proper place.
    4. Put your zipper foot on your machine and sew up the right side starting at the bottom, down the left.
    5. Rip the basting stitch out.
  7. Pin the rest of the side and bottom of the main section together and sew a ½” zig-zag stitch to seal it off. At this point I cut off some of the excess fabric to cut down on the bulk.
  8. Pin the pillow in by placing the edge you left open next to the zipper and folding in raw edges to make a clean seam. Continue folding in the raw edge of the rest of the top. Sew a straight ¼” top stitch around the top of the bag.
  9. Almost done…This next part will depend on your stroller. The straps need to be able to come through the back of your “stroller snuggle bag” for obvious safety purposes. Here’s what the dimensions were for mine:Stroller Snuggle Bags 2
    1. I measured 3” down from the bottom of the pillow, then 2” from the zipper. Here I made a 2” horizontal button hole. Then to make the other top hole, I measure 8” across and made another 2” button hole.
    2. Straight down I measured 13” and made another 2” button hole on each side.
    3. The last button hole was 4” wide and was measure diagonally 6” from the bottom button holes.

 

My kids love snuggling into these very cozy bags when we go on a cold weather walk! AND I feel better about getting them out into the fresh air so I can get exercise. They stay nice and cozy!! :)

Ginny

**Hopefully these instructions make sense…I made these bags over a year ago and can’t find the pictures I took. :( I’ll try and get more pictures posted soon. Until then, leave a comment/question below if you need help.

Posted in Craft for the kids, Craftiness, Little Bodies, Natural Mommy, Sewing Projects | Leave a comment

Chrissy’s EO #12

rosemaryhairTo say the least I have a finicky scalp and I always have. I have battled dandruff since I was in middle school, just what every prepubescent kid needs, right? About a year ago I decided to make my own shampoo bars for Ginny and I and they were super awesome. However, due to the level of my vanity, I had to go back to store bought products. All I’m going to say about that is that my hair was un-styleable. While I was using my own shampoo though I discovered this little gem. I had to strip my hair with a vinegar rinse about once a week. While it is stinky it makes my hair feel amazing.

The rosemary essential oil in this rinse is great for all hair types but brunettes have the added benefit of a deeper, more tonal hair color NATURALLY. Chamomile as an herb is great for blonds (I dont know if the essential oil would do the same, sorry I know nothing about being a blonde). Rosemary is also known to aid in the fight against hair loss. Since I have been known to dabble in being a hypocondriac, hair loss is something I have my eye on.

I bought my bottle at Target for a dollar and keep it only for rinsing my hair. Its pretty much ruined for anything else. Its a 6oz bottle and I fill it up about 80% with apple cider vinegar then I add 10-12 drops of the rosemary essential and shake it up. OVER THE TUB I make sure that I saturate my scalp then I pile all my hair on top of my head and empty the bottle making sure all my hair is covered with the rinse. My hair goes down to my butt so some people might not need this much rinse but its better to be safe than sorry and vinegar is cheap.

I wrap my hair in a towel and go hang out with my husband who loves how I now smell. Just kidding he crabs about it the whole time, but if I have to put up with his stinky bodily functions he can smell Rosemary and apple cider vinegar.

Leave the rinse on for about 20 minuets and shower normaly.

Currently, I use Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo and conditioner. There are 3 different fragrances (or types) Tea Tree, Lemon Sage (thickening formula) and Lavender Peppermint. The Lemon Sage is what I’m using presently and I don’t care for it because I can’t detect even the slightest hint of Tea Tree, which is the best oil for scalp treatment(…hmmm gonna put some oil right in the bottle). My favorite is the lavender/peppermint. I used it for months and didn’t have to apply the rinse more than once a month. Now I’m back to once every two weeks or so :-/.

Posted in Chrissy's Journal, Earthy Beauty, Essential Oil, Herb and EO Journal, Natural Hair, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My 6 Loaf Bread Baking Routine

bakedbreadfeatureI enjoy baking bread. When I heard that my husband preferred homemade bread I decided to bake it for him. A tip I would give all newlywed women is… “Thou shall not spoil thine husband too much”. Now, I have to routinely bake bread and on the off chance that we have to buy it I hear nothing but bellyaching, I say that with the upmost love.

So! I have to bake alot of bread. I try to do 6 loaves on a day that I designate to bake (probably every other week). The recipe I have is super easy and I have done it so much that I have it down to an exact science. This is how I roll.

PS. I have a kitchenaid mixer that I will fight to the death for and it makes making bread a dream amongst all else in life…you should buy one, or at least start saving for one. I got mine for my birthday…best present EVER!

Recipe:

1/4 cup oil (any oil will do) Here I’m using coconut oil.

1/4 cup honey (sugar works too)

*Sidenote: Use the same cup.  Always do oil first. The honey dumps right out.

1 Tablespoon salt

2 1/2 cups Hot Water.

1 Tablespoon Dry Active yeast.

1 cup of flour (this is just to start ;) more added later)

Put on that whisk attachment and whisk it for a bit to get it all mixed up. Maybe 30 seconds. While its whisking away get a cup of flour ready. TAKE OFF the whisk and put on your dough hook.

5,6, or more cups of flour

*my husband only eats white bread…so so spoiled. There are all types of ways to make this bread so if your interested drop us a line and we can hash things out ;) 

Turn it up to the second speed setting and dump in your first cup of flour. When that ones mixed in add another cup… keep going like this until your dough reaches your desired consistency. I like mine to be fairly sticky. The less flour in the dough the more the bread rises. Basically, if you touch the dough and your finger comes away with dough, you probably should slowly add small amounts of flour until it doesn’t. At the very least your dough should leave an indent when you push your finger into it.

breaddough1Preheat your oven to 475 for 1 minute then turn it off… I mean one minute no more. This isn’t enough to actually preheat the oven that hot, we just want an even temp for rising our dough.  In this one minute time period remove your dough from the hook. Usually people cover their dough while its rising, I do not. I haven’t seen a difference between the two. Pop the whole mixer bowl (glass or stainless) in the oven and set your timer for 30 minutes.

While your dough is rising grease your loaf pans (2).  When timer is up take out the mixing bowl set your oven temp to 175 and seperate your dough into 2 equal parts then roll out the first half. Taking it by one side roll it in on itself, like a cinnamon roll. Pinch the seam and close up the ends. Fold the ends in and pinch it all together so that your loaf actually looks like a loaf. Repeat with the other half of the dough Put them in the pans and set them in the oven to rise for 30 minutes.

This is when I start my second batch. Repeat the recipe only this time your dough will have to rise on the counter.

When the 30 minute timer on your first batch is done, leave the loaf pans in the oven but set the temp up to 350. Set your timer for 30 minutes more.

When the timer is up on the first batch in the oven, immediately remove the loaves from the pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.  Turn off your oven and then LEAVE YOUR OVEN OPEN! If you want your loaves to be pretty and shiny put some butter on the tops. When the loaf pans are cool enough to touch grease them up again.

bakebreadBack to the second batch! Separate, roll, pinch and turn it into loaves just like the first time. The open oven should be cooler by now. Leave it off and set your timer for 30 minutes. When that timer is done turn your oven up to 350 and set the timer for another 30 minutes.

Guess what!?!?! Time for that 3rd batch! Do everything you just did with the second batch AGAIN!

After you do this every two weeks it starts to be pretty easy despite the complete confusion I have detailed it out as here. Feel free to contact me at sisterspracticalmagic@gmail.com if you have any questions!!!

One more thing. I am not nor have I ever been payed by Kitchenaid. I just love my stand mixer THAT MUCH.

Chrissy*

 

 

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