I’ve Been Thinking.

This week was super busy, and I was not the best at managing my time. I spent a lot of the time I was driving around thinking about what to do with this blog. I didn’t realize it was Friday until I was thinking (on Friday) about what I would write about this week. Then I thought, “oh, today is Friday. Oops.” I had a party to get ready for, so by the time I figured out I needed to post I had a bunch of food prep to do, so I couldn’t get around to it.

Anyway, I really enjoy writing this blog and sharing recipes with you all, so I’m going to continue doing that. I had an idea for new content, though, and I’d like your input on whether or not it’s something you’d like to see: I was thinking of doing something similar to “Pintertests” where I test out recipes I find various places. I think it will be a lot of fun, but I’d also like for you guys to share recipes you’ve been meaning to try, or would like to see someone else try before you buy ingredients to make it. I would include a link to the original recipe, any modifications I made and an honest review.

My plan is to add this to the original Friday post, so the test runs would publish on another day of the week, maybe Wednesday.

Is this something you’d be interested in?

Millions of Peaches…

Millions of peaches, peaches for me
Millions of peaches, peaches for free

Look out!
-The Presidents of the United States of America

My parents brought a huge box of Palisade peaches with them when they visited for Hamling’s birthday. Last year I just split a box because I didn’t think we could go through a full box ourselves. Well, I was surprised when I went to finally make a cobbler and there were only 3 peaches left: we had eaten them all! So this year I decided to get a full box and freeze some for later use.

20160830_135930There are several ways to freeze peaches. You can freeze them in water, juice, syrup or dry. I opted for dry packing because I wanted to be able to use them in smoothies (if I ever actually made a smoothie). I packed them in two different ways: I put the peach slices straight into the bag and froze them, and I put the slices on a sheet, froze them and then placed them in a bag. Either way works, but I like the second method because the peaches stay fairly separated in the bag so you can take out two or three slices if that’s all you want.

Here’s how to freeze peaches using the dry pack method:

  1. Juice a lemon into 1 cup of water.
  2. Slice peaches, dropping the slices into the lemon water.
  3. Remove the peach slices from the lemon water and place in a small freezer bag (for portioning convenience) or onto a tray that will fit into your freezer.
  4. If using the tray, freeze until the slices are completely frozen -about 2 hours- then remove from the freezer, run some hot water over the bottom of the dish the slices were on to loosen them and scrape them off. Put the frozen slices into a small freezer bag.
  5. To remove the air from the bags follow the directions in the video below.

I didn’t peel my peaches because I’m lazy, and I don’t mind peach skin. If you’d rather peel them, just add a step before slicing.

Happy freezing!

Lilla Rose Giveaway!

I’ve been trying for a really long time to grow my hair out. I could never get it to grow longer than my shoulder blades, no matter how long I went before cutting it. Eventually I resigned myself to that length of hair and went on with my life.

Well, now my hair is down to the middle of my back! I don’t know if it’s because of my diet change, or maybe I’ve just always had latent thyroid issues and when I resolved them my hair started to grow longer. Maybe it was being pregnant a second time. Whatever the reason, I am pretty stoked!

Except I’m realizing that I have no idea how to style longer hair, or take care of really long curly hair. It’s definitely an adventure. Part of my problem is that I’m lazy: the reason I don’t wear makeup every day is it’s too much effort. I’d rather not spend a bunch of time every day in front of a mirror, so styles that require tons of bobby pins or a curling iron are a no-go.

Cue Lilla Rose.

I had heard of Lilla Rose from a good friend of mine when she hosted a party with Katrina. I didn’t pay attention then, because I didn’t think I needed any new hair stuff. It turns out I was wrong, but I wouldn’t figure that out for another two years (I think, I’m bad at keeping track of time) when the bee flexi popped up in my Facebook news feed:

I fell in love with it (because, dangly things!) so I ordered one from Katrina. Now I’m wondering why it took me so long! The style in the picture took me less than 5 minutes and it held all day long. These clips are really pretty and super comfortable, which is a plus because now that my hair is longer my bun claw isn’t so nice to my head.

I got really excited and when I get really excited about things that make my life easier I want to share them with everyone (hence this blog). So, to share this awesome thing with you Katrina has made a giveaway! This giveaway is only open to ladies who haven’t worked with another stylist before (we don’t want to poach anyone’s clients!) and it’s sponsored by the awesome Independent Stylist Katrina Burbank! As an added bonus, there is a sale happening until Saturday night on select Lilla Rose hair candies so you can save some money while you get your goodies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Experiments Brought to you by the Interwebs. Part I.

This week I’m visiting my parents in the Grand Valley, so I’m writing a different sort of post.

I tried a couple of things this week, one of which is a life hack, the other a recipe. The recipe is for a homemade stain remover. I’ve been using it for more than a week now, actually, more like two months or so. I have to say, I’m super impressed. I found this recipe on Mommypotamus‘ blog.

This stain remover takes out baby poop, ya’ll. Just spray and wash, no scrubbing necessary. If you have a set stain (a onesie that has been previously washed but still has that orange-yellow spot on it) just keep spraying and washing and eventually the set stain will fade – about 3 or 4 more washes. We had a paper diaper breach the other day and I happened to be doing laundry anyway, so I just sprayed the poop spot and tossed the onesie into the machine. It came completely out!

20160811_213942Unfortunately I don’t have a before and after picture for you, but I do have a picture of my skirt. You can see the lighter spots on it. Those are where I sprayed the stain remover. My skirt was so dirty that I’ve been having to spray a little more each time I wash it to get all the residual dirt off of it. I would never have noticed except I got oil on the skirt so I sprayed the oil spots. This stain remover took out the oil spots and the residual dirt. At first I thought that the color of the skirt had been slightly bleached, but I compared the lighter section to the yoke of the skirt and they were the same color; my skirt was just that dirty.

I have been putting this stain remover all over our clothes and I have not had any problems with colorfastness, but do always test. Just in case.

The second thing I tried this week was ripening avocados in the oven. I had read that if you need to ripen avocados quickly you can do so by wrapping them in tin foil and popping them in a 200° oven for about 10 minutes.

This does not work.

The avocados stayed in the oven for at least 20 minutes and they are still rock hard. Three days later. I’m a bit bummed with this one; I was really hoping it would work. I guess I’ll have to stick with the old paper bag and bananas trick…

Sick-o.

Well, we did not escape this monster spring unscathed: all of us are sick right now.

It was a perfect storm of antibiotics, needing to rest my water kefir grains and running out of elderberry syrup. Hamling needed a round of antibiotics for a blister that was migrating down his finger toward his hand. I still have no idea what happened to his poor finger, but he really did need the antibiotics. Right after the antibiotics he got pink eye, then a cold. Then I got the cold, then Hamlette got the cold, and now Hubby has the cold.
As an aside: breast milk really does resolve pink eye. In case anyone was wondering.

I’ve been sick for 14 days now, ya’ll. This sucks. I’ve said it before, but I’m pretty sure I’m on the tail end of it now. At least, my throat isn’t sore anymore.

So today I thought I’d write about all the things I do to help myself through a cold. It’s much better to prevent it from happening, but sometimes – despite my best efforts – it happens anyway.

  1. Elderberry syrup.
    This is the recipe I use. This is kid-approved: Hamling asks me for “medicine” almost every day. I usually give/take one shot glass a day, but when we’re sick I up that to 2 for the kids and 3-4 for me.
  2. Honey and turmeric.
    I take a mixture of equal parts honey and turmeric, a dash of fresh cracked black pepper, ginger and cinnamon. This helps with inflammation and is pretty awesome for sore throats.
  3. Throat Coat tea with honey.
    I use this sparingly because I’m nursing. Depending on what area of my throat is sore, sometimes I’ll just gargle it rather than drinking it.
  4. Elderberry tea with honey, coconut oil and gelatin.
    I don’t always add the gelatin, but the coconut oil gives a nice energy boost if I’m having a rough day.
  5. Netti pot with some sort of probiotic (or Alkalol).
    This sounds weird, but it really does help. I was breaking open a capsule of probiotcs into my netti pot water (in addition to the salt). I ran out of those and used breast milk in the last two netti pots. It still weirds me out (the breast milk) but it was really helpful. If both of those suggestions are too strange (I don’t blame you) you can use Alkalol: it feels awesome! Be sure to use either distilled water, or water you’ve boiled for a few minutes for your netti pot.
  6. Lots of rest.
    Sometimes this means popping a movie or two on for Hamling. I’ve made my peace with that.
  7. Salt water gargles in the a.m.
    I gargle warm salt water after I’ve finished oil pulling in the morning. It helps clean out all the post-nasal drip gunk from the night before.
  8. Lots of bone broth.
    Bone broth is pretty delicious just warmed up, seasoned a bit with oregano, in a mug. If you disagree, try making more soups or cooking your savory grains in it.
  9. Skin brushing.
    Skin brushing is supposed to help move/drain the lymph system. All I know is that I feel better after I do it. Usually I’ll brush before my hot bath.
  10. Hot Himalayan salt bath before bed.
    I also add vitamin C. I run the water as hot as I can stand (think hot tub hot) and soak for as long as it takes me to watch an episode of anime; usually 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the amount of ads. Be sure to rinse off after so that the salt and vitamin C don’t hang out on your skin all night.

I think that’s it.

What do you do when you’re sick?

Sloooowww Dooowwwwn.

Every once in a while I think about life in the big city. It’s not often, because I live in my own little bubble of fantasy world, so it generally happens like a ton of bricks smacking me in the face.

I’m not the only one who notices that we’re running ourselves ragged, am I? The city out-paces me on a regular basis, and sometimes it makes me dizzy. I often wonder, when I’m hit with that sack of bricks, why we choose to live this way. What are we sacrificing, as families, to have a full schedule? Why is having a full schedule important?

I’m in generally good health now, so I have more energy than I used to, but looking at other people’s schedules is still exhausting. Kindergarten, gymnastics, library time, picnic at the park, art class, trip to the zoo, whathaveyou. I can do one of those things a day and I know of people who frequently do all of them and more. I admire those people, but I know I wouldn’t be happy living like that.

The crux is that sometimes it feels like we’re expected to do all the things. There’s a certain amount of pressure to be a “good mom” by signing your kid up for all sorts of activities. I challenge that idea. Not only because I’m somewhat lazy, and I often don’t even have time to keep the house clean, but because we’re missing out on a lot by moving so fast. Especially if you’re moving fast because, well, everyone else is and you don’t want to be labelled a “bad mom”.

Here’s the thing: by and large, “good moms” and “bad moms” don’t exist (excluding abuse and neglect). We’re all just moms trying to do the best we can for our children. All of the choices offered to us as parents include the worry and fear of screwing something up. Vaccinate or not? Formula or breastfeed? Public school or homeschool? Organic or conventional? The list goes on. The stakes are high: you’re raising a person and your choices will affect them for the rest of their lives.

I say that, at least sometimes, we should take a step back from the bustle of the big city and just let kids be kids. And there’s no harm in allowing ourselves to enjoy our children: Suzy or Johnny won’t be harmed if we all just slow down and take the time to appreciate a lazy day (or week).

I guess all of this rambling is to say: don’t feel guilty for doing nothing with your kids all day. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re a “bad mom” if you skip the chores every so often: the mess can wait (and it will gladly do so).

On a final note, here is a video that I think of fairly often. Fair warning: there is one F-bomb in it so it is not safe for kids.

400 BABIES!

In the End…

I had a ton of ideas for what to write about this week. Time ran away from me and I didn’t have time to really sit down and write something that wasn’t rushed. Recipe posts are pretty easy, but I don’t have any pictures to accompany them yet, so that’s out. I was going to write about Hamlette’s birth, but that’s going to take a little bit of time.

I was productive though. I made an art for a good friend of mine, who is also Hamlette’s god-mother, to celebrate her birthday and the book she just published:

I learned that those La Croix sparkling waters make excellent mixers for kombucha. It works really well if your kombucha has fermented a bit too long: you can’t taste the sourness at all!

I also learned that going on a picnic is an excellent way to spend an afternoon thanks to my best friend. I will be going on more picnics this summer for sure!

My awesome mother-in-law took measurements of our front lawn in preparation for terracing. I’ll be happy to have a front-yard garden. I’m busy researching landscaping ideas for edibles as well as what kind of bricks to use and ideas for where the yard meets the driveway. Our driveway is sloped with the yard right now, so it will be an interesting problem to fix. I’ll figure something out, though.

It’s supposed to snow a lot this weekend, so I guess I’ll get time to work on it while I’m stuck inside.

Do you have anything big planned for the summer?