SHOW+TELL: Growing Garden Journal Kit

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I don’t really have a green thumb, so I’m always trying to learn more about my garden in hopes I can make it flourish. This year, in anticipation of spring planting, I am going through my notes and compiling it all in a garden journal. I made a ring-bound set of cards with a thick chipboard cover that can grow with me and with my garden!

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In addition to helpful information fields on the front and the back of each card, I left a little space for a plant doodle or collage.

IMG_5664_growinggardenjournalSince each card is decorated differently, it’s easy to sort through the book and quickly find the plant I’m looking for, plus it’s fun to illustrate the plants. (It would be a great project with the kiddos.)

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I decorated the book cover with scraps from my seed packets and collage materials. (Waste not, want not!)

I’m excited to add more layers and more pages as I go along, and I thought I’d make up a few kits in case anyone wants to follow along with their own gardening adventures.

You can find a kit on the Adventures-in-Making etsy shop – here
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April Growing Garden Journal Includes:

  • Punched Chipboard Cover pieces (labeled “Growing Garden Journal”)
  • 15 front/back printed and punched plant cards on assorted cardstock
  • 1 binder ring
  • Additional plant cards are available as a refill.

Garden Journal Kits and Refills available here.

All you need is a pen and some plants to write about!

RECIPE: Turmeric Hot Toddy (for cold/flu relief)

RECIPE: Turmeric Hot Toddy
Since making up a batch of turmeric paste last week I’ve been adding it to my morning ritual of drinking hot lemon water. I usually add a dash of cayenne and ginger powder and now I’m adding a teaspoon of turmeric paste as well. In the midst of my current obsession with turmeric and its amazing health benefits, I’ve been collecting recipes via Pinterest. When I stumbled across this recipe for a Turmeric Hot Toddy I knew I had to try it.

I usually only crave a hot toddy when I’m sick with a cold since the drink is known to ease the aches and pains of the common cold. But since my morning ritual tea is so similar to a hot toddy (minus the booze), I decided to give it a try and enjoy a hot mug on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

RECIPE: Turmeric Hot Toddy

How does a Hot Toddy ease cold symptoms exactly?

• For hundreds of years brandy has been used as a traditional remedy for the common cold/flu. The natural warming properties of brandy, mixed with its relaxing quality that induces healthy sleep and the antibacterial nature of alcohol, together creates a much needed boost for the immune system. You can read more on the health benefits of brandy here.
• Lemon and honey can relieve a sore throat, help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration.
• Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, a natural blood purifier, and is antioxidant and antiseptic.

Note: Even though I do enjoy the cold/flu relief felt when sipping a hot toddy, it’s not the only remedy I turn to when I’m feeling sick. It’s also a good idea to get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Don’t forget that alcohol actually dehydrates the body, so think of a hot toddy as a way to pamper yourself when you’re feeling sick and drink in moderation.

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Turmeric Hot Toddy
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1-2 oz brandy or bourbon
  • 1 tsp turmeric paste
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 lemon
  • Cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. In a glass mug, juice ½ lemon and add turmeric paste and honey. Stir to combine. Fill half way with hot water and stir until turmeric/honey is melted. Add 1-2 ounces of brandy or bourbon and top off with more hot water.
  2. Garnish with a lemon wedge, cloves, cinnamon stick and a star anise. Drink hot!
  3. Note: you can substitute herbal tea for the turmeric paste

RECIPE: Turmeric Hot Toddy

RECIPE: Golden Milk + the health benefits of Turmeric

RECIPE: Golden Milk + the health benefits of Turmeric

As I continue my research and spend more time with the wonderful Indian/Asian spice, Turmeric, I love and learn more and more about it. Known in Sanskrit as the “Golden Goddess”, turmeric is often used in sacred Hindu ceremonies. Turmeric has been a staple in Indian food traditions for millennia and has at least 4,000 years of use in Ayurvedic, traditional Chinese, and Siddhic medicinal traditions. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that turmeric emanates the energy of the divine feminine and helps grant prosperity.

RECIPE: Golden Milk + the health benefits of Turmeric

Health benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma Longa plant and is a member of the ginger family. It’s most known for it’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and is also a natural blood purifier, analgesic and antiseptic. The bioactive compound, Curcumin is what gives turmeric its bright yellow/orange color and is an effective topical antibacterial agent. It has stronger antioxidant properties than vitamin E, is anti-tumor, antibacterial and antimicrobial. It’s also known to assist in liver detox and has been used for centuries to promote healing of the gut, stomach and liver.

Note: Because it’s been found that turmeric is rapidly metabolized by the liver and intestines, its medicinal properties may not be as effective unless it is consumed with black pepper, which has been found to increase the absorption of curcumin by 2000%.

RECIPE: Golden Milk + the health benefits of Turmeric

So, not only is turmeric a vibrant natural dye perfect for using this time of year, it has amazing health benefits too. How can you not love this spice!? Turmeric can be consumed dried, cooked, or raw, and has a slightly peppery, mildly bitter and earthy flavor. There are many ways to incorporate turmeric into your cooking and it can also be drank as a tea. A common method I found in my research is to make what’s called, Golden Milk. And to make it, you must first create a turmeric paste…

RECIPE: Golden Milk + the health benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric Paste
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly until it forms a thick paste. Transfer paste into a small glass jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

 

RECIPE: Golden Milk + the health benefits of Turmeric

Once you’ve made your turmeric paste, you can make yourself up a warm cup of Golden Milk anytime you want!

Golden Milk
 
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Author:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk (dairy or nondairy)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric paste
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Honey or maple syrup (to taste)
  • Cinnamon or nutmeg (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Combine the milk, turmeric paste and coconut oil in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it just starts to boil. Pour into a mug and sweeten with honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

 

RECIPE: Golden Milk + the health benefits of Turmeric

RECIPE: Scrap Veggie Broth to Perfect Any Recipe


Maybe everyone knows to make their own veggie broth. I didn’t until a couple of years ago when I had a pile of veggie scraps and an aha moment. After a couple of quick searches, I decided to toss everything in the slow cooker and see what happened.

AMAZING happened. I ended up with a complex  unique broth that I was eager to cook with.

Since then I’ve saved almost all my veggie and fruit scraps in a bag in the freezer, and when it gets full it gets turned into what I lovingly call “trash soup”.

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RECIPE: Scrap Veggie Broth in a slowcooker
 
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This simple veggie broth will use up all your fruit and vegetable scraps, and make your next meal that much better.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 Tsp. Salt (to Taste)
  • A Variety of Raw Vegetable Scraps*
  • You can use skins, scraps, and leftover: Zucchini, Greens, Spinach, Okra, Apples, Tomatoes, Asparagus, Artichoke, Peas, Green Beans, Onions, Cabbage, Broccoli, Leeks, Garlic, Peppers, Carrot, Mushroom Stems, Herbs…. almost anything.
Instructions
  1. *Make sure to only use ingredients that you COULD eat fresh. Nothing dirty, slimy, moldy, etc. A little soft is fine. The key to the best broth is variety. Try not to use too much of anything with a strong flavor- but remember that this is a low pressure process. If it doesn't turn out, no big deal!
  2. Put all your scraps in a slow cooker and cover with water.
  3. Sprinkle salt over the mixture and mix it slightly with a spoon.
  4. Put crock pot on "low" and leave overnight– 10-20 hours– checking occasionally for taste and to stir gently.
  5. Ladle broth over a strainer to separate out vegetable scraps and broth.
  6. OPTIONAL: Simmer the broth on Med/High to condense the soup for freezing. Allow to cool completely before placing in a container or ziplock bag, and freeze until you're ready. (Make sure to label your container with tasting notes and a date.)

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For my broth today, I had a wide variety of veggies. From highest to lowest volume I used: zucchini, brussel sprout greens, tomatoes, onion, okra, mushroom stems, lemon rind, apple, bell pepper, and basil stems.


Make sure your scraps are clean and in relatively small pieces, then dump them into a medium crock pot,

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and cover them with water.

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Add about a teaspoon of salt (to taste) to the water.

Cover the crock pot, set it on “low” and let it do its thing through the evening and overnight. (It’s good to taste the broth, and stir occasionally to make sure everything is going well. If it starts to get bitter you can either stop the process, or give it some more time to possible cook itself out.)

After about 10-20 hours your concoction will look more like this:

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and will smell up your whole home in a delicious way. Use a ladle to spoon out the broth over a strainer…

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to separate out the broth and veggie chunks. Throw those depleted veggie scraps in the compost and look at what you’ve made!

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Beautiful, complex, broth– a perfect way to start almost any recipe.

Optional: If you want to save the broth for another day, you might find it useful to condense and freeze it. To do this, put your broth in a small pot and simmer on medium-high under a fan.

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Excess water will be released as steam, and after a while you’ll have a thicker, darker condensed broth. (This process can take some time, so I usually plan to do dishes, cleaning, or other kitchen activities while I wait.) Take the pan off the heat.  As your broth is cooling, do a final tasting and label your container (or ziplock bag) with tasting notes and a date.

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Then simply pour the cool broth into your container and freeze it for the perfect recipe. The more broths you make, the more you’ll notice differences in their flavor- making store bought broth seem ludicrous!

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We love adding the broths to everything we cook. It will kick up anything from soup, to sauces, to quinoa, and make you smile. (Promise.)

What I’ve Learned

•I’ve said it before, but variety is really key here. I usually leave a small collection of scraps in my freezer bag for the next broth, rather than using too much of one flavor.
•You may be an onion and garlic maniac, but don’t make a broth out of just those. Other veggies are necessary to cut the bitterness of over-extracted onions. Trust me.
•Good advice from a friend- “If the broth doesn’t taste good, throw it away. Don’t let it ruin a meal.” If your broth turns out weird or bitter, it’s not the end of the world. Try again next time!
•Try out a parmesan rind sometime, but otherwise avoid oils.
•Mellow fruits (like apples) make for a carmelly broth that would be lovely in a lot of dishes. Bolder fruits (cherries, berries, citrus) are best used in very small quantities.
•Some vegetables are stronger than others- broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage can take over a broth completely. I don’t mind, but maybe you do?
•Yum.

TODAY: Be Inspired, Not Intimidated.


I’ve been kind of at odds with my work lately, and I’ve been drowning myself in busy work to keep from having to address the elephant in the room- What do I do next? I’ve spent the weeks since the store closed doing anything but the things I need to further my art, and the longer I waited the harder it became to pick up a pencil again. Somehow in that time I became more and more discouraged by the truly awesome work I saw all around me, and I’ve decided it’s time to do something about it.

The internet is an amazing thing for an artist. Snap your fingers (or ask Google) and you have access to a million inspirations and a trillion resources. (Also a gazillion distractions, but that’s beside the point.) We don’t even have to go to a library or a museum to be exposed to new work or new concepts; it’s just there, in our Facebook feed.

With such luxury, it seems like our possibilities for inspiration are endless, and yet all these amazing things can be just as intimidating as they are stimulating. How can you ever draw that well? Why can’t you come up with the perfect idea? Why should you spend hours on something that they can do without even a sketch?

Thus begins the cycle of stagnation: 1: Get discouraged, 2: Can’t work, 3: Don’t get better at what you do (and don’t get to enjoy the process), 4: Spend more time on the internet looking at “inspiration”…. Rinse and repeat.

So, lets turn this whole thing on its head, and figure out how to see inspiration as just that.

1: Acknowledge talent, and move on.

Even is your first defensive instinct is (like mine) to pick apart the work of other artists, try to instead see what is causing you to react. It’s likely envy, and that’s just silly. There isn’t a finite amount of talent to go around.
If someone is awesome, let them be awesome. Admire what they do, and that they do it well. Move on.

2: Realize that what you like in your work does not have to be what you love in someone else’s.

I love looking at realistic art. I love looking at landscapes that seem to miraculously appear from patches of paint. I like mosaics built from found trash that take on a whole new life in their new format. I have no intention of doing any of those things. I am never happy trying to be realistic. I like lines, not plains; and when it comes down to it, I really just want to make functional art.
You’re no less an artist because you do something differently- obviously art is all about being different. You can be an artist in the kitchen, an organizing savant, an expert at standing on one foot while you knit– and all the while you can love the things you don’t do. Maybe you can love them more because you DON’T do them.

3: Spend a little time looking at things outside of your comfort zone.

I have a long list of blogs in my feed reader and I almost always read the web comics and interior design blogs first. Now, as a dedicated blog contributor I should probably be looking at things that are a little closer to home- but I get inspired by things that are outside of my experience.
You can find inspiration anywhere. In a history book that talks about the mysterious ins and outs of the past. In a mystery novel that lets you see out the eyes of someone else. In a garden reference that talks about permaculture and the growth of magnificent living things. Even in a cute kitten video. (That one’s a little bit of a stretch, but if it feels good it can’t be all bad!)

4: Get away from it all.

If you are seeing too much, close your eyes for a while. Unplug from the constant stream of visual information and take a deep breath. It’s okay. The internet is forever, and you can always go back and see things later. When you’re ready.

5: See your work for what it really is.

I don’t know everything, but I suspect that we mainly make because we are trying to express ourselves. We are trying to show everyone else how we see the world, trying to highlight and solve a problem, trying to learn. So, if someone else is doing that differently, it’s alright.
I am who I am, and you are who you are, and I like it that way.

DIY: Homemade Allergy Relief Balm

DIY: Allergy Balm #LLP #EO #essentialoils #natural #health
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I am a seasonal allergy sufferer. It seems like every time the weather/season changes I start sneezing, my eyes get itchy and my nose gets runny and congested. Since I’ve begun learning more about essential oils, I’ve been looking for more and more ways to make my own home remedies rather than heading to the drugstore. I discovered this Allergy Balm while browsing Pinterest and knew I found an idea I wanted to try.

Lavender, Lemon + Peppermint (LLP)

What makes this balm so effective against allergies are the blend of essential oils lavender, lemon and peppermint. Together these three oils create a natural antihistamine which helps to reduce inflammation in the body and eases allergy symptoms.

I purchased the doTERRA introductory kit a while back which just happens to include LLP!

DIY: Allergy Balm #LLP #EO #essentialoils #natural #health

Here’s a little more info about these 3 oils:

Lavender: Helps eliminate nervous tension, relieves pain and respiratory problems. It’s also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
Lemon: Is a natural anti-biotic, antiviral, antiseptic, and disinfectant.
Peppermint: Contains menthol which helps clear the respiratory tract and has a cooling effect on the body. Because it is an expectorant, it provides instantaneous, though temporary, relief from nasal congestion, asthma, cold and cough.

DIY: Allergy Balm #LLP #EO #essentialoils #natural #health

You can use the LLP combination in a number of different ways. You can take it internally using gel caps or make a body oil. I decided to try making a balm to rub into the bottoms of my feet and apply to any irritated areas.

Supplies Needed

• 3 tablespoons candelilla wax (or 1/4 cup beeswax)
• 1/3 cup almond oil
• 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
• 1/2 tablespoon vitamin E oil
• *25 drops each of lavender, lemon and peppermint essential oils
• Popsicle stick
• Small tins or glass jars

*Note: Peppermint has a much stronger scent and overpowered the lemon and lavender. Next time I will try using less. Maybe only 15 drops instead of 25.

DIY: Allergy Balm #LLP #EO #essentialoils #natural #health

Combine the almond, coconut and vitamin E oil in a mason jar. Fill a saucepan halfway with water and place it on medium-high heat. Place mason jar into the water to create a double boiler. Bring water to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer. Once the coconut oil is completely melted, add in the wax. Let wax melt and add in the essential oils. Use a popsicle stick to stir mixture.

DIY: Allergy Balm #LLP #EO #essentialoils #natural #health

Pour into small containers and let cool completely.

DIY: Allergy Balm #LLP #EO #essentialoils #natural #health

How To Apply:

Whenever you feel the allergy itch coming on, rub this balm into the bottoms of my feet, the base of my skull/neck and apply to any irritated skin areas like around your eyes and nose.

Optional: Decorate your tin/jar with some pretty wash tape!

DIY: Allergy Balm #LLP #EO #essentialoils #natural #health

TODAY: The Magic is in the Making


Every month we send handmade badges to our favorite DIY Challenge entries. Rachel has made most of them, because she’s a whiz, and I was too scared to attempt embroidery. When I finally sat down to try* I found myself enjoying the process, and realized that the little imperfections were just fine. They were evidence of my process, and the process is everything.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the little monsters that keep us from creating. The doubt that we feel about our talent and ability, the fear we have that what we make will be judged by others, the comparisons we make to those who we feel are more talented.

Well, those are my little monsters. They make it difficult for me to call myself an artist, even when people specifically ask me if I am. Even when I’m working on rearranging my studio to work better for the way I make things.

But here’s the thing. When I take a step back from my own insecurities I see that for me the value of art isn’t in the product; and it definitely isn’t in the value that someone else places on the product. All the value and happiness is in the making.

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When I’m making something, I get to do all my favorite things. I solve problems, like what tools to use to get the result I want. I teach my hands to move in new ways. I explore the interaction of materials- the way certain paints soak into wood, the way paper is cut by different blades, the way it curls. I train my eyes to see the world differently, to take items out of context, to turn a stick into a story. I play with the sound of words in my head, the picture they can paint with a little touch of color.

So what if all that beauty in my head and in the world turns into something that no one understands but me? Who cares if the end product is less “art” and more evidence of exploration? The magic is the way I feel when I’m working.

What do you think? What part of making brings you the most joy?

 

*I used a lot of the techniques from Rachel’s Alphabet Hoop Art tutorial, craft felt, embroidery floss, and good ol’ creative drive.

SHOW + TELL: Rachel Finds Peace In Panama

SHOW + TELL: Rachel Goes To Panama

I had the unique opportunity to spend the month of March in the countryside of Panama, my first trip out of the country since college. My mom and I stayed with her childhood best friend, Linda, who retired there a few years ago. Linda has battled ovarian cancer since she was in her twenties, and within the past year it has returned and escalated to stage four. My mom left for Panama in January to help care for her, and I joined them for a month, in desperate need of a nature retreat to lend some balance to two years of chronic pain.

I flew from Portland to Las Vegas to Panama City, then a 3.5 hour bus ride to Santiago where I met my mom. Linda’s house is in a remote part of the countryside, nearest to Santa Fe, and is only accessible with 4 wheel drive. 22 hours after leaving Portland I found myself at her leaf-decorated house perched on a hillside overlooking a beautiful valley.

SHOW + TELL: Rachel Goes To Panama

I spent the first two weeks working in my art journal. I brought with me a ton of my favorite art supplies to play with. It felt so good to have nothing to do but sit and paint all day. And in between laying in a hammock, that’s exactly what I did.

SHOW + TELL: Rachel Goes To Panama

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SHOW + TELL: Rachel Goes To Panama

SHOW + TELL: Rachel Goes To Panama

My mom and I spent about a week sight-seeing, but mostly we stayed in Santa Fe where I soaked up the sun, gazed at the beautiful Panamanian jungle and countryside, swam in the nearby river, made art, and napped in a hammock. I was able to do the things I usually can’t make time for like practicing yoga, meditation, doing daily tarot readings and journaling.

It was the first time in a very long while that I felt truly at ease. I left the clutter and stress of my life behind and was able to think clearly and find much needed peace. Every day I woke up to sunshine and lush, green nature. Each morning I climbed to the top of the hill and looked out at the valley. You can’t help but feel immense gratitude for nature with a view like this.

SHOW + TELL: Rachel Goes To Panama

Spending a month here helped me to reconnect with my true self and let go of the fears and anxieties that had once paralyzed me. It helped me to clear and calm my mind that felt so cloudy and overwhelmed before. And I rediscovered my own spirituality and trust in the universe.

SHOW + TELL: Rachel Goes To Panama

Returning home I am slowly easing my way back into normal life. I want to hold onto the good vibes of Panama for as long as possible. Memories of Santa Fe remind me to slow down, take time to get dirty in my garden, relax and let things be. Thank you Panama!

Three Healthy Drink Recipes

RECIPE: 3 Healthy Drinks #lemon #turmeric #acv #ginger
This year it seems like I’ve caught a minor cold (lasting about 3 days) every other week! After the second one runny nose kicked in, I knew it was high time to bring out my cold fighting, immune boosting, and homemade concoctions. It’s so easy to ignore feeling tired and rundown, or push through daily aches and pains. My struggle with chronic pain has taught me to pay attention when my body is trying to tell me something and give it the help it needs to heal itself.

I have three drink recipes that I always turn to when my body is in need of some TLC. Each drink contains ingredients that have natural healing benefits and can be drunk hot or cold.

For Alkalinity & Digestion

RECIPE: 3 Healthy Drinks #lemon #turmeric #acv #ginger
Hot water with lemon and cayenne is my go-to drink and something I have almost every morning when I wake up. Drinking lemon water helps to promote an alkaline state in your body and can kick-start your digestion and help your body rid itself of acids.

Benefits of Lemon & Cayenne

– Both lemon and cayenne have anti-fungal, immune boosting, and detoxification properties
– Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C, helps with digestion, destroys bacteria, balances pH levels and cleanses the system
– Cayenne pepper increases metabolism, stimulates the circulatory system, aids digestion, helps regulate blood sugar, suppresses appetite

Lemon Water with Cayenne
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 1-2 lemon wedges
  • water
  • pinch of cayenne
Instructions
  1. Squeeze lemon into a mug of hot water. Add a pinch of cayenne and enjoy.

For Heart Burn & Detox

RECIPE: 3 Healthy Drinks #lemon #turmeric #acv #ginger
I drink apple cider vinegar whenever my body is feeling run-down. I only use Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar as it is organic and contains many natural healing properties.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

– controls hunger and cravings
– helps with detox
– a natural remedy for heart burn
– it’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory
– helps regulate digestion
– promotes healthy hair and skin
– balances hormones
– helps regulate blood sugar
– eases menstrual cramps

Sweetened Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Elixir
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup unfiltered apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • honey or maple syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in a large glass or mug. This concoction can be enjoyed hot or over ice.

For Pain & Nausea

RECIPE: 3 Healthy Drinks #lemon #turmeric #acv #ginger
I drink turmeric and ginger to help ease overall-pain in my body. Turmeric and ginger are also particularly helpful in aiding digestion and chasing away nausea (which is a common symptom I experience along with pain).

Benefits of Turmeric & Ginger

– Turmeric and ginger are both cancer-fighting, reduces inflammation, aids in digestion
– Turmeric reduces symptoms of indigestion like gas and bloating, relieves arthritis, reduces cholesterol, purifies the blood and helps with skin problems.
– Ginger eases motion sickness, helps reduce pain, has a warming effect and stimulates circulation.

Creamy Turmeric Ginger Latte
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (feel free to use almond, coconut, rice, etc)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • pinch of dried rosemary
  • pinch of cayenne
  • dash of vanilla
  • maple syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together ingredients in a medium pot. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, then immediately turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture into a large mug. Sweeten with maple syrup.

 

I hope you’ll try out one of these tasty and healthy concoctions the next time your body needs some love and attention!

DIY: Crimson Tide Essential Oil Blend

DIY: Crimson Tide Essential Oil Blend #essentialoils #wellness

Last winter I treated myself to a Doterra starter kit and fell in love with the lavender, peppermint and lemon essential oils. I use the lavender to ease headaches and help me sleep. The peppermint is great for nausea or upset stomach and I love using the lemon to lighten my mood and give me a fresh outlook. I’ve found using essential oils to be a great natural alternative to over-the-counter medications.

Last September I started working part-time at Molly Muriel Apothecary, and have become more and more interested in essential oils and discovering new ways to use them. I’ve tried them in my own incense blends with herbs; I use them in my bath and even made up my own bath salts.

As a woman who suffers from severe PMS and painful periods every month, I wondered if there was a natural way to ease cramps and other symptoms associated with menstruation. After doing a bit of research I found some different herbs and oils to try, so I decided to make my own essential oil blend to use along with a heat compress during my period.

Crimson Tide Essential Oil Blend

Adapted from Natural Fertility Info

• 15 drops German chamomile
• 20 drops clary sage
• 20 drops sweet marjoram
• 10 drops rose
• 10 drops lavender
• sweet almond oil
• 4 oz dark glass bottles

DIY: Crimson Tide Essential Oil Blend #essentialoils #wellness

Fill your bottles about ¾ full with the almond oil. Then add in your essential oils. If you’re new to blending essential oils, be sure to take your time and carefully count each drop. Depending on what brand/bottle of oil you purchase, you’ll use either an eyedropper or some bottles come with a built in dropper. You can see in the photos that I have both. Make sure to only use 100% pure, natural oils. If you live in the Portland area, I recommend visiting me at Molly Muriel Apothecary! Or a great online source for herbs and oils is Mountain Rose.

DIY: Crimson Tide Essential Oil Blend #essentialoils #wellness
DIY: Crimson Tide Essential Oil Blend #essentialoils #wellness

Once you’ve added in all the essential oils, fill the bottle the rest of the way with almond oil (or insert a pump). To use, apply the oil to your lower abdomen when experiencing menstrual pain/cramps. Place a towel or cloth on top of the oil, then apply a heat compress using a heating pad.

Some more info about the oils I chose:

  • German Chamomile: Reduces inflammation. This oil is deep blue in color due to the presence of azulene. It also has pain-reducing effects, helps calm the nerves, reduces anger, irritability and depression.
  • Clary Sage: Relaxes the nerve impulses, reducing muscle spasms and cramps. Furthermore, it reduces symptoms like bloating, mood swings and food cravings by balancing hormones; and also helps calm the nerves, eases stress and depression.
  • Sweet Marjoram: Reduces pain on all levels. It helps to regulate menses and provides relief for other symptoms associated with periods like headache, dizziness and mood swings.
  • Rose: Also an antidepressant and antispasmodic. It stimulates hormone secretions, which trigger menstruation and can be particularly helpful for those who suffer from obstructed or irregular periods. It also eases cramps, nausea and fatigue while reducing pain associated with menstruation.
  • Lavender: Eases nerves, anxiety, headaches, depression and stress. It induces sleep and helps reduce pain.
  • For more info visit: organicfacts.net
DIY: Crimson Tide Essential Oil Blend #essentialoils #wellness

Custom labels courtesy of Evermine.com

Use caution:

  • Do not use this oil blend if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Test the oil blend on a small portion of your skin first. If you experience any sensitivity or irritation, do not use.
  • Always use a carrier oil (like almond, coconut, or olive) when using essential oils. You don’t want to apply them directly to your skin.
  • I am not a doctor or professional herbalist by any means, so I cannot guarantee this oil blend will work for you. Consult your doctor before using essential oils.