Hop over to my Apples With Stars blog for little post about music for headaches...
One of the most wonderful things about the internet is that you can find out how to do or make just about ANYTHING EVER. And that's wonderful.
One of the most frustrating things about the internet is Pinterest and the neverending supply of beautiful photos and perfect DIYs.
So today I present to you some not-so-great but very real photos of how I re-use jars to make and store extracts, tinctures, and essential oils. I won't post recipes or how-to instructions, the internet does NOT need more of those.
This is my favorite...homemade arnica oil. I simply purchased some dried arnica flowers and funneled them into a half-full bottle of olive oil. Fancy schmancy label and everything.
After a couple of months or so, I strained the oil and created a salve with beeswax and a few other simple ingredients. I *may* do a post on that, since I love it.
Dessicated coconut flakes (no sugar added) in alcohol (cheap vodka to be exact). No fancy label needed. A Sharpie works (kind of). Amazing flavor after just a few weeks. Perfect for making your own flavored sodas.
(This is actually a bottle I found on the ground at the park!)
Another go at the "fancy' font on the label maker. This bottle is a re-used stevia bottle. I have lots of these--super great for reusing.
Some of these are jars I purchased at Mama Jean's for storing herbs. Yay for multi-functional things.
Yum, home grown sage.
That's all..I just see so many fancy DIYs on how to make extracts showing perfectly lovely matching bottles...and if you can't afford that, surprise you can still make them. (And feel great about reusing and re-purposing instead of buying fancy bottles.)
That's all. :0)
So I kept seeing "garam masala" and "chicken tikka masala" pop up all over Pinterest and the interwebz. Being a country girl and not having much experience with "fancy" foods, I had no idea what it was.
So I googled. Interesting. But EW, I simply abhor cinnamon in anything other than CINNAMON-flavored foods. Gag.
But I digress, I decided to try it anyway.
I don't eat rice (avoiding grains and carbs), so I added some to my sauteed "cauli-rice."
After the cauliflower is just sauteed enough to soften, I turn off the heat and add spinach, just so it will wilt, but not really cook.
The lovely shine would be from coconut oil. YUM.
Ta-da! Very pretty. Tasted like weird. I just can't get over the cinnamon flavor.
Celia noticed it had cumin in it. She has a very discerning palate for an 8 year old. :)
Served with some sort of meaty leftovers. I don't even remember. :)
The verdict was that we didn't hate it. We didn't necessarily want to eat it again any time soon though.
This video has nothing to do with anything, I just thought it was funny to hear our background conversation while Celia was filming her turtle.
Warning: shaky cam!
I love watching my little garden grow...
I snapped some photos of the lovely, tiny little blooms this week...
I've been trying to buy less and less plastic. It's a process for sure! I've always loved the "disposable" plastic containers (you know, the ones that "normal" people use over and over again until we melt them in the microwave?).
We still buy plastic--it's inevitable at the point--but we're moving towards buying less of it, and we recycle what we do use. Those containers are a thing of the past though.
I've been buying more food items in glass jars so that I can reuse them for storage. My salsa jar makes a perfect jar to keep our mouthwash in, and all the little jars are great for small bits of leftovers, and I really love them for my homemade cosmetics. Just the right size!
Some of these foods also come in cans, and although metal is recyclable, and we still buy plenty of canned goods, I can re-purpose the glass jars immediately and avoid purchasing other storage containers. It's definitely making for an interesting storage/cabinet issue. These obviously don't stack well like the plastic containers, but making over the cabinets is kind of a fun challenge all by itself.
Side note: I'm also trying to use the microwave less, so not having as many microwavable dishes also makes it easier to avoid. (No, I haven't "quit" my microwave altogether yet--but it's on the habits-to-change list!)
Second side note: No, not all the foods I buy are organic. We're just normal people, trying to be healthier and spend time/money more wisely... one habit at a time.
Third note: Trying to stop buying foods in plastic and Styrofoam...that's also a goal I've yet to conquer! Baby steps!
A quick addition to this post.
I'm hoping to go through and do updates on some of my DIY posts with reports on how it's going and if I'm still using different products and methods.
I'm very happy to report that this was an easy change, and I'm still happily using the same method. In addition to the vanilla beans, I added in some orange peal and the smell is wonderful. (Think creamsicles!)
I've been adding orange peal to my hair and cleaning vinegars and it makes it smell amazing. Don't get me wrong, it still very much smells like vinegar, but ORANGE vinegar.
To make your own shaving oil, just use whatever bottle you've got--you can even do this directly in the bottle the oil comes in--just use something that's easy to handle, since you'll be using this often (I hope!).
I use sunflower oil, but you can use any kind that's good for your skin. I've also made orange scented oil with coconut oil, and it's would work wonders as well.
Throw in some vanilla bean...For this small bottle I used half a bean, sliced lengthwise to let out the fragrance, but to keep it from disintegrating too quickly. If you want to go "all out" and be fancy, throw in a few slices of orange peel. (You could use lemon or lime as well.)
The fragrances come out pretty quickly, and will evolve the longer it sits--especially if you keep it in the shower where it will have a chance to warm up every day.
Click HERE to learn more about sunflower oil.
Find sunflower oil on Amazon:
A little Friday mini countertop tour. You don't get to see my whole kitchen, cuz I'm real people with too many jobs, so it's a mess, but you can see snippets!
Your Friday mini countertop tour includes lots of exclamation points. I get excited. So sue me.
1. My Ninja blender for making green smoothies! So glad I went with the "pro" size since I make 4 smoothies at a time every morning (breakfast and lunch for both the hubby and me).
2. My Misto oil mister! I love to use this thing! I use peanut oil usually. In the summer I might switch to coconut oil--it stays liquid during the warmer months--and I use it quickly enough I don't have to worry about it going rancid.
3. Salsa verde jars! These are perfect for re-purposing to keep our homemade mouth wash in. I also have a lot of fresh herbs drying that I'll be packing into some of these bad boys very soon.
4. Re-puroposed peanut butter jar to keep my baking soda in.
Also pictured--behind the Ninja is my meat grinder, which is also great for making my own nut flours (which is awesome), the plate of delicious leftovers the salsa was for, and the empty cottage cheese container in the sink.
Yum. Now I'm hungry!
I spent a lot of lovely, lovely time in the garden this past weekend. Turns out gardens are great for growing food AND getting your exercise. Who knew, right?
I kid, I kid. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, I'm just kind of proud that I'm actually able to do it! I was super achy afterward, but it is totally worth it. (And kinda way more fun than yoga.)
My beautiful, wonderful basil decided to make some babies for me.
So I re-potted this pretty little thing.
Um, well, it was wilted the morning after, but I have high hopes for it's recovery after it adjusts to the shock of me digging it up with a soup spoon.
We have two big squash plants. These guys just think they're too cool for school.
And they're right.
We have a baby squash! *squee!*
My cucumber seeds did very well, and I moved some of them to new pots to give them more room.
They were not wilted. #winning
Drying some herbs from my garden and my mama's house.
Basil and cilantro.
Tied with yarn and pinned up over my kitchen sink.
Pretty little bundles.
I took some pics of our little garden this morning. It's really a practice garden. My parents always had a huge garden, and the hubs is good at flowers, but this is our first real *together* veggie & herb garden.
I love all my little babies! The peas and their curly little vines are adorable.
Hopefully we'll do a good job and have progress pictures soon!
Life is Good
Live Like You Mean It!
(and don't eat sugar, it's evil)
This little side blog of mine used to be mostly about food and health, and now it's mostly about Jesus.
Egg Nog Shake
Spicy Seasoning Mix
Spinach Pizza Quiche
Cheesy Broccoli Soup