Welcome to my blog!

Merry Meet & Thank you for visiting!
This blog is all about all the things that make me up. I am a Mother, I am a Pagan Witch, I am a Wife, I am a homemaker, I am a student, I am Spiritual, I am a Teacher, I am Liberal Hippie, I am a Voter, and I am extremely opinionated! Plan to see it all! If you don't like what you see, feel free to leave! However, chances are, if you stick around, you'll find more to love than hate!

Blessings!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bone Broth, Information & Recipes

I grew up eating "Red Label" Chicken Noodle Soup, which I now know to be rather UNhealthy - not to mention it's really not that good! But when you're not feeling well or on cold, dreary days, a big cup of broth is not only what the Doctor ordered, but what Great Grandma made!  So how to marry the "need" for broth and good health? Bone Broth! Not only is it DELISH, but it's super good for you, and it's really not to hard to make.



Find out how to make it in the Crock Pot over at Blessed Beyond Doubt


Homemade Liquid Multi-Vitamin Tincture

I do my best to take a multi-vitamin every day. But the fact is, the good quality ones are expensive! Even more so if you're buying liquid - which is easier for your body to absorb. So, why not make your own?



Don't forget to get your herbs from:

Got Headaches? I know I do.

I, like so many other Americans, have so much on my plate that I need a second and third one! And I do all that with an Auto-Immune Condition (Fibromyalgia) and not enough sleep - ever!  So headaches are generally just a way of life.  I am usually able to deal without treating them or resorting to pills, but I love the idea of having more weapons in my arsenal against headaches!

So this post - with 19 ways to ease headache pain - is a Goddess send!



Monday, March 11, 2013

Smoke, Mirrors and the Disappearance of Polio

We all know Polio is "non-existent" in our society today, and most of us believe we know why... But do we really know the truth? Most of us do not!  As a parent that does not allow her children to be vaccinated I often hear the "it's because you didn't see people in Iron Lungs" or the "people like you are going to bring back illnesses like Polio" comments. In fact, I've had doctors say it to me. Fortunately, I prefer to educate myself, rather than relying on what others believe, and the subject of Polio is no different...

 This is a presentation by Medical Doctor Susan Humphries given at the Association of Natural Health Conference in November 2012, about Polio.



Getting Started With Essential Oils

I've been getting A LOT of questions lately about Essential Oils and where to start. Well, getting started is not really as hard as it seems. It can be overwhelming, but the key is to go slowly and don't try to learn it all at once.

Get yourself a "guide" book or two and a few good quality essential oils (try starting with no more than 3 or 4). Once you learn to use those few oils - learn their uses, correspondences, safety information and methods of use - then move on to a few more.

Some of the more popular essential oils to consider starting with are:
  • Lavender
  • Tea Tree
  • Peppermint
  • Eualyptus
  • Sweet Orange
  • Rosemary
Essential Oils are often found at health food stores, but you can also buy them online. There are many companies out there, but not all essential oils are created equal, so ensure that what you're buying is 100% Pure.  My own collection is made up of Eden's Garden and Mountain Rose Herbs, but I have friends who swear by Aura Cacia and DoTerra, so I know those are good brands as well. 

As for books, there are tons out there... But some of the better ones are:
Outside of finding a good book and starting slowly, the best advice I can give you is to use some common sense. Don't take anything internally unless you know it's safe, and test any "topical" oils in a small spot to ensure that you won't have a negative reaction, essential oils are safer and more natural than conventional medications, but they are also extremely strong plant oils, and can create allergic reactions - just like plants can.

My last tip is to keep a journal or recipe book. A simple note book will work. I started keeping one when I first started. It works almost like a "quick guide" book. Each page is topped with a type of EO and then I write down all I can about it. It's Scientific name, alternative names, what it's good for, safety information and the best ways to use it (some oils are best used for aromatherapy but aren't great if used topically, and so on), plus any other little tid-bits I find. I also have a notebook (well, a 3-ring binder) where I keep recipes and "how to" information. Most of the recipes I've posted here on the blog I included in there, along with my own two cents about them - tweaks or additions.  The point is that my brain, like yours I suspect, simply won't hold all this information perfectly, so having somewhere to keep it all is very useful.

However you choose to get started... Enjoy your new found love of oils! I know I do!

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

Okay, do I really need to post any introduction to this? BACON, JALAPENO PEPPERS and TWO KINDS OF CHEESE!!!  Yeah, as far as I can see, that's all I really need to say, but for those of you who still aren't convinced that this is simply an out of this world idea -- here's a picture!



Yummy Cucumber & Zucchini Recipes for Spring

Two of my favorite veggies in the spring are Cucumber & Zucchini. I put them in just about everything I can this time of year. If you aren't able to grow your own, or, if like me, you live in an area where you simply can't grow them this early, you can usually find them at great prices at any grocery store right now.

When I was flipping through Facebook posts today, I happened across a "recipe" for "Cucumber Subs" which I thought was GENIUS! I mean really, why didn't I think of this? I already put cukes on all my sandwiches, so why didn't I think of this? Well, I don't know, but now that I have seen this, I am going to be making these every chance I get!


After seeing the cucumber sub, I looked around other posts on the "Make The Best" blog and found another recipe that I think may be changing our menu for the spring & summer!  


Although I see me adding to both of these - and not using lunch meat, but shredded chicken or turkey instead - these are both rather delicious starting places. The moment I read these my brain just started running at high speed with ideas on how to "perfect" these...  But I'll post my versions as I get the chance to make them. 



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Homemade Lavender Beeswax Candle

Store bought candles nearly always contain toxic chemicals that pollute your home and your family.  But you can easily make your own. This blog was specifically aimed at making Lavender candles, but you can make just about any scent you want. I'm rather partial to Vanilla!


20 Uses for Everyday Herbs

One of the best things about learning to use herbs is learning not just to use them when ailments or injuries happen, but learning to use them on a day to day basis to heal and to bolster the immune system.

Here are 20 uses for every day herbs that most of us never consider!


Celtic Tree of the Month: Ash

Once again the Kitchen Witch School is providing some incredible information that simply must be shared!  Great information for your Book of Shadows!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Homemade Sunscreen

I generally don't use any kind of sunscreen. The sun is, after all, a healthy source of vitamins and in moderation is GOOD for our skin and our bodies. Plus, most sun screen options are rather toxic.

But there are those times when sunscreen is a good option. - Like days you plan to spend outside for an extended period of time.  And when those times come, it's good to have an option that you know isn't going to cause more damage than it prevents!  While there are options out there that are relatively safe, but isn't it better to know for sure what you're rubbing on your skin - or on your child's skin?


Upcycled Juice Bottle Glitter Vases/Planters

This is a project that I absolutely love!  Great for kids on a rainy day!  Personally, I wouldn't use these as vases like the author says, but as planters!

Try all kinds of color combinations & patterns!



Homemade Daily Vitamin Suppliment

Most people fit in to one of two categories - those who take a daily vitamin supplement, and those who should.  The problem is that even if people should be taking them, the majority of what is readily available on store shelves isn't any good! Mostly, it's artificial vitamins mixed with preservatives and additives - some of which are known to actually cause poor health rather than support a healthy body.

But what do you do? You know you're supposed to be taking them, and you know most of what is out there isn't worth spending the cash for... Are there better options out there? Well, yeah! You can spend lots of money on top of the line organic liquid vitamins, OR, you can look for ways to create your own! Personally, I prefer the "make your own" option! 

Obviously, this isn't the only recipe, but it's one I've recently found and happen to like!


Make sure to get your herbs from:


Monday, March 4, 2013

Wellness Juice Shots

Unfortunately, I don't have a juice bar around here. But this, made in my kitchen, is a great, simple way, to keep my family healthy... Plus, it's tasty!



Spinach Cupcakes

So just this morning I ordered my cupcake maker - which I will be using for cakes, muffins, buns and more - and then I found this recipe and thought it was PERFECT to make my first batch of cupcakes with!  I've made pumpkin cake, carrot cake, chocolate zucchini cake, banana bread and so many others... But SPINACH?  Oh, this is heaven! I can't wait to try them!  --  Plus, it's perfect for Ostara & All Snakes Day (St. Pats),



Moon Time


I finished this book a week or so ago, and I have yet to have the chance to post about it. And unfortunately, I have yet to find a third book worthy of finishing this year. I started a few, but nothing that I am liking enough to read past the first few chapters... So it may be a few weeks or so before I have another book to talk about.

Anyways, here's Book Two for the year as a part of the Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge.
Moon Time: A Guide to Celebrating Your Menstrual Cycles  By: Lucy H. Pearce

I have been exploring ways of better embracing and honoring my female cycles. So when I found this book I snagged a copy and jumped right in. I couldn't stop reading! It is just packed full of great information! Herbal, historical, spiritual and even some sentimental! Not only did this book given me the tools to better understand my cycles and how they affect me, but it has inspired me to alter my daily rituals and to really start thinking about what will happen when it's my daughters turn. 

I have grown up, as most of us have, in a society where a woman's cycles are seen as a "curse." They are somehow proof that women are weaker and less worthy than men. For years I felt ashamed of my moonblood and wished it would go away somehow. But now, as mother to a daughter, I realized how I want her to grow up loving herself - cycles included - but how I first needed to learn how to love myself fully, to set the example. I now feel, that I have the tools to better do that, and to, eventually, guide my dear daughter to do the same.  I want her to know and understand how to celebrate her inner Goddess, at all times of the month!

I would say, if you are a woman, if you have a daughter, or even if you are a man who loves a woman, this is a book that should not be missed!

Rosemary Lavender Spray

If you're like me, you often find yourself battling stress, even though you want to remain calm and level headed. With all the parts we play in life, it's easy to see why so many struggle with stress. But there are some easy "fixes." One of those, is this spray!

Use it as a room (or car) spray, or as a personal fragrance that will help keep you calm and collected all through your day!


It's extremely simple to make!

Simply mix your ingredients in a small spray bottle, shake and spray when needed! This recipe is completely shelf stable, although I don't recommend keeping it in the car through hot summer months as the heat can damage the structure of the essential oils and weaken the properties. I keep mine in my purse.
Ingredients:
  • 1/3c cool water
  • 25 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
  • 25 drops Lavender Essential Oil
 This couldn't be any easier, and it's greatly beneficial!  Use the Rosemary as a way to help relieve tension and the headaches it creates. Use Lavender to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Slimming Herbal Tea

Various herbs have been shown to aid weight loss. These herbs help to detox the body, boost metabolic rates and suppress appetites. This herbal tea is not only beneficial for weight loss, but also to stabilize mood, improve sleep, increase libido, decrease water retention and create a more balanced skin complexion.

Herbs you'll need:
  • Nettle Leaf 
  • Eleuthero Root
  • Senna leaf
  • Dandelion leaf
  • Marshmallow root
  • Slippery elm bark
  • Sweet Cinnamon Bark, chips
  • Orange peel
  • Ginger root
  • Fennel seeds

Learn the benefits for these herbs, as well as the amounts needed for this recipe at:  
http://frugallysustainable.com/2013/01/herbs-for-weight-loss-a-recipe-for-slimming-herbal-tea/


Don't forget to buy your herbs from:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pagan Blog Post: Week 9: Eating

It may seem strange to choose "Eating" as a topic for this project. Obviously, everyone - Pagan or not - eats, so eating in itself, isn't a Pagan practice. But the fact is, Eating is something that is extremely important as well as something that does come up quite a bit throughout the Pagan Calender, so I thought it was a fitting subject to discuss.

Eating, or food in general is a HUGE subject! And if you follow my blog, or if you flip through some of the past posts, you know how important the subject is to me. As a mother and wife, it's extremely important to me that I feed my family well. But at the same time I fully understand that food isn't JUST about nutrition, it's also about taste and emotion.  Food is often used as a way to celebrate, especially when it comes to Sabbats & Holidays, not to mention, things like birthdays, anniversaries and deaths.  So yeah, the "purpose" of food is to sustain our physical bodies, but it's SO MUCH more than that!

For me, and many others that I've talked to, food is something which is very important, not only to their physical health, but also to their spiritual health. It connects us, directly, to the Earth and/or to the Animal Kingdom. We are, after all, ingesting the very life energy from other life forms. It is this reason I believe we should be doing all that we can to ensure that the food we are eating is not only good for us, but that it was also well cared for prior to it's becoming "food."
**I've spoken with many Pagans who see this idea and choose a life of vegetarianism or veganism as a result. I, however, do not. While I will cover all my reasons for eating meat in another post, I think it's important to touch on here. For me, I am a firm believer that all life is equal - be it human or animal or plant. We are all blessed with divine energy as a part of our life force. If anything, I feel plants to be MORE divine than animals, as they are purely spiritual and physical, there is not mental layer to them, and therefore no way for them to act outside of their purpose. And I don't buy that plants feel less pain than animals, I simply feel they feel pain in a different way than animals do. - Yes, I always loved Fern Gully!
This means doing all we can to eat Organic and well cared for plants AND animals! Unfortunately I'm not eating 100% Organic as of yet, but I am getting there slowly. It takes time to change and I am giving myself that time without forcing the issue on myself or my family - which would just cause more stress and negativity in my home. This year however, I am planting a large garden, and I've located a local dairy that sells raw milk & dairy products, a local apiary that sells raw honey and a local butcher that sells only local meat - or that will butcher meat from an animal you have killed - so I can much better monitor how the animals I do choose to eat are raised, treated and killed. I am unable to grow ALL my own fruits and vegetables, and I have yet to master making things like oil, bread, pasta and so on, so I'm not completely self sufficient or even locally sufficient. BUT again, it's a slow process and I am working on it, which I believe, is what is important.

In addition to ensuring that what I am eating is organically grown, and treated well, I am working hard to ensure that the foods my family eats food which has not been Genetically Engineered (GE). It's unfortunate that the US does not require the labeling or study of GE foods, but I do hope that this is changing. It's also unfortunate that companies have the right to term their produce or products as "Organic" even if they are GE, making it very difficult to completely avoid GE foods. (Again, this is something I will be going in to detail about in future posts.) It's this reason that I feel it is SO important to grow as much of your own food as possible! I have found that even many "farmer's markets" are stocked with GE foods shipped in from other states or areas, rather than being locally grown and even if labeled "organic" or "all-naturally grown." So it's extremely important that you speak to the "farmers" prior to assuming that you're buying non-GE food.

Food is something that we often take for granted in this country.  We are so overwhelmed with choices when it comes to food, and although there IS hunger, it's not something that most people see or even realize is an issue.  Most of us have at least a few cupboards full of food, plus a refrigerator, and a freezer chest... And that's on a bad week. In fact, we have so much access to food, that we have become disconnected from it in some ways.

If you were to ask the average American what healthy foods they ate today, chances are most would answer you by saying something like "I had sausage & eggs for breakfast with orange juice" or "I had a green salad for lunch." Most have no clear understanding of "healthy" vs "unhealthy." Sure, we all now that cake and cookies aren't healthy, but many of us grew up being told that Hamburger Helper and Cheerios are a "healthy part of a balanced diet" just like the commercials say. I, too, grew up this way. I understood that Pizza and McDonalds weren't healthy, but I didn't understand that homemade burgers weren't any better. So it's taken me quite some time to relearn all that I have. 


Ann Wigmore said "The food you eat can either be the safest & most powerful form of medicine OR the slowest form of poison."  Although I know she was simply referring to the use of organic and whole healthy foods in our diet as a way to keep us healthy, but I like to view this statement as so much more than that. The fact is, our food not only works as a benefit or detriment to our own health (and that of our family) but of our world as a whole. "Conventionally grown" and "Genetically Engineered" foods are produced at a great cost to our Earth! The processes used to grow and harvest both plants and animals for consumption deplete the soil of it's naturally occurring nutrients, and dump numerous anti-biotics, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and gods only know what else. In fact, in a study carried out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) there were 36 types of pesticide found on tested strawberries, and raspberries were shown to have even more! And their nutrition benefits continue to dwindle as the top soil is washed away and fields are not given time to rest between seasons. So not only are we putting all these chemicals in our bodies, but we are also not giving ourselves the nutrition we need, making it physically impossible to be truly healthy eating these!

Now you may be reading all this and thinking - "Okay, but what does this have to do with being Pagan?"  Well, quite a bit. To me, being Pagan isn't like being Christian. You can't simply go through the motions on Sabbats & Esbats and then forget about the rest of the time. Being Pagan is as much a way of life as it is a "religion." In fact, I really don't even like using the term "religion" when talking about what Paganism is, because it's more than that. It's more than mythology or rules or faith, it's how we live our lives, how we treat others, how we treat nature, and how we treat ourselves. And I don't believe we can live in a way that we KNOW poisons and abuses our bodies, our families, our society and our Earth, and still consider ourselves as "living the faith."

Do NOT take that to mean that I assume every Pagan out there is going to live on 100% organic locally grown foods and spend their weekends picketing Agra-Businesses... Obviously, that's not feasible. I myself fall back on boxed dinners and conventionally grown produce way more than I would like to admit. BUT, I think what is important is that we make an honest attempt to do what we can. We can not be perfect, and we alone can not change the entire food system. BUT, we can do a small part each time we plan dinner!

Honoring nature and ourselves does not require great rituals or rites. Instead it requires a daily effort to do what is best a little bit each day. Obviously focusing on food is only ONE aspect of this lifestyle, bit it is one that is hugely important! Other things you can do are as simple as not using plastic water bottles or grocery bags, composting, and getting rid of all the harmful cleaners in your home, but those are a totally different blog!



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