Saturday, November 29, 2014

A sleepytime miracle!

It may seem a little odd that I would be posting about sleep as that has been the subject of several posts - I know I should move on to another topic!! BUT, I have something to share and I promised a little someone that I would dedicate a post to him if our little experiment worked so here's the story!

My youngest son, Braedon, struggled to sleep through the night for many years and when we started using oils a little over a year ago, the change in his sleep patterns were what first convinced me that essential oils were AMAZING! He went from waking up 2-4 times a night (he was 4 1/2 at the time!) to waking up once a night. That then changed to sleeping through the night without waking almost every night. The transformation was incredible and not only did our sweet little guy start getting the sleep he needed, his very exhausted parents got to enjoy full nights of sleep as well!

A few weeks ago, Braedon came down with a sore throat which we took care of pretty rapidly with the use of a variety of oils over the course of a couple days. However, he continued to wake up each night complaining of a dry throat or a bad dream or being too hot or too cold - I think what happened is that he had woken up a couple times with a truly sore throat and then on subsequent nights he would wake up and decide there must be something he needed to come and wake me up for (he's my little hypochondriac!). He got into the pattern of waking up and he couldn't break it for whatever reason. I was getting very tired of getting up with him every night! I tried to bribe him with chocolate chips if he slept through the night, a toy if he slept 5 nights in a row etc - nothing was working. So last night I told him we were going to do an experiment. I lathered that sweet kiddo with every sleep oil I have as well as a couple other oils to deal with various ailments he has been complaining about (tummy ache, congestion, sore throat, overall "I don't feel good" when he wakes up.

Hallelujah!! That little boy slept through the night like a log - not a peep out of him until 6:45 this morning!! Our experiment was a success!!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A refreshing end to tummy troubles...

I haven't managed to get a post out in way too long - life just seems to get so full. In recent weeks, however, I have decided that though I would love to be super efficient in every area and aspect of my life, that goal is not realistic. And so, the conclusion I have come to is the fact that writing posts on my blog can wait if it means I am able to spend quality time with my kids, teach them fully and effectively in school and focus on my main priorities in life. So, even though I love my oils, use them every day and have countless stories to tell, I have chosen to focus a little more fully on what matters most  - so forgive the large spaces between writings:-)

Ok, so on to a recent experience that I must share! The other night, I went to bed feeling a little off...don't know why. I woke up the next morning feeling VERY off. My stomach was just feeling yuck. No real symptoms to go along with it...just felt cruddy tummy-wise. I decided that instead of my usual regimen of Peppermint or Digize for a cruddy tummy, I would try some Citrus Fresh in a glass of water - it just sounded like it would kind of cleanse my gut and give me some relief. I love the smell of Citrus Fresh but truth be told, I hate water with flavor - but I was pretty much willing to try anything that would make me feel better. I added 3 drops of Citrus Fresh to an 8 oz. glass of water and sipped it with a straw over the course of about 10 minutes. I literally felt somewhat better within minutes and by the time I had my make-up on, got dressed and headed down to the school room to start our day, I was 100% better. It was so amazing - definitely a trick I will try again!

Just a side note since I am highlighting an awesome benefit of this oil, the other thing we use Citrus Fresh for is relaxation. It is a great oil to help with sleep in our family and we regularly diffuse it at night. It also smells amazing, tastes much better than Digize, and isn't spicy like Peppermint (for those who are sensitive to those hot oils)!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Oral Health...

I have struggled with sensitive teeth for many years and haven't found any real relief from special toothpastes. Recently, I have been hearing some pretty crazy things about the contents of tube of toothpaste - my 8-year old even piped up the other day with "Mom did you know that some toothpaste has been found to contain...". Further, I have gotten more canker sores and inflamed taste buds in the last year than I have had in many years which gives me reason to think about better oral care. In our house if there is a physical complaint about virtually anything, the comment is "Let's get some oil for that" and in this case, the response has been no different!

A few months back I started brushing my teeth with a drop of Thieves and after getting used to the spicy taste, decided I loved it! My mouth felt crazy clean and my teeth were like shined glass they were so perfectly polished. I think I just got lazy and somewhere over the last few months, I stopped doing this. And to my surprise, guess what I started having issues with again?! Last week and started getting terrible canker sores again. Because they were so painful, I grabbed some prescription canker sore medicine to knock them out immediately. Didn't help! Brushed my teeth with Thieves the following day and the canker sore was gone by the next morning! Haven't had any other trouble since. Though I have not had specific relief from sensitive teeth as of yet, I think that is a deeper issues that will take a longer amount of time to heal. I have heard countless stories of how Thieves has helped benefit oral health in very significant ways - I am sure I will experience these benefits if I stick with the habit! For now, I am thankful to be rid of painful canker sores and to have been reminded that oils are amazing - not that I really have to be reminded of that:-) I never turn to medication in place of oils but because I have a history of horrible canker sores, I grabbed what I thought would give the quickest relief - learned my lesson!

Just a note...brushing with Thieves is a spicy, tingling, numbing experience but your teeth will feel cleaner than they have ever felt before - trust me!!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A note about oils...Part 2!

Several months ago, I wrote a post entitled "A Note About Oils" and it has been my most popular post thus far! Hundreds of people read that post much to my surprise! Needless to say, I was glad it was helpful to people beginning their oily journeys. Well, since that post, I have learned even so much more about oils, their uses, and the amazing difference they have made in our lives. I thought I would write a follow-up post to share a few new notes about oils...

  • If you think that using oils will make it so you and your family never get sick...I am sorry to disappoint you! There is no way around the simple truth that everyone gets sick sometimes. However, from personal experience and from watching others, the incidence of illness is far lower when oils are used on a regular basis. IN ADDITION, the spread of illness is also far lower when oils are used on a regular basis. Since our family has been using oils, my oldest son suffered from a tummy bug, my youngest had a slight cough and my hubby and I caught a cold. But here's the cool part:
    • My oldest son suffered from the tummy bug for ONE DAY and no one else in the house got sick!
    • My youngest son suffered from a cough that sounded pretty bad but only plagued him a few times a day or during exercise, was greatly helped by diffusing Eucalyptus and rubbing Eucalyptus on his chest and back AND it didn't keep him up at night or cause any significant impairment to his daily functioning AND no one else in the house got it!
    • My hubby caught a bad cold over the winter and was on the verge of getting an ear infection and sinus infection. By oiling him up generously and consistently, he avoided antibiotics and doctor visits and was able to manage symptoms and work right through it - no work missed, no significant impairment to daily functioning.
    • I caught a bad cold over the winter and was pretty miserable for a day but by lathering myself with oils, diffusing and taking oils orally, I woke up the next morning feeling like a totally new person! This experience was likely the most astounding that I have had with oils thus far - and that's saying something because I am daily wowed by oils!! The cold cleared up and I was back to normal without any doctor visits or meds!
  • In my experience, many people choke a little when they hear the price for the Everyday Oils Kit. I get it...I did too. But now, I think "Wow! Only $150?" I know $150 is a lot of money but I also know the quality and the value of these oils. Here's my personal story about the whole money thing:
    • I have an amazing friend who I admire in every way and she introduced me to oils last a very non-pushy way! I was interested because my youngest was almost 5 at the time and still getting up 2-4 times a night and we were all exhausted. However, I was tired of spending money on things that didn't work such as talking to doctors, frequent chiropractor visits, and buying supplements like Melatonin. I must admit, I was skeptical. I finally came to a place where I was so desperate that I got on my computer and I ordered the oils. Then I started stressing and saying to myself "This is dumb. I shouldn't have spent $150 on something that I don't even know will help". And so I returned to my computer and I cancelled that order. Later that evening my hubby asked if I had purchased them and I told him my ordering and cancelling story and here's what he said: "You need to just order them. If these oils could help with even one of our issues - sleep, warts, your autoimmune disorder - it would be worth it. Just order the oils!" I went back downstairs and ordered them. And you know what? All of those issues have been improved! Sleep has been improved like you couldn't imagine! Five warts have been eliminated on my boys! And my autoimmune disorder has been greatly improved! That's three for three! And those don't even begin to cover the number of successes we have had with these oils!
    • So, I know $150 seems like a lot but when you think about it, what's it worth to you to not have to visit the doctor multiple times during the course of the year? How much do you typically spend for doctor visits and meds during the winter months when strep, sinus infections, bronchitis, ear infections, colds, and flu start spreading? How much work do you miss and how many sick days do your kids have when these illnesses are running rampant through the schools? I'm thinking for many, it's more than $150 and long does it take for those meds to work?! To me, $150 doesn't sound like a lot when it compares to the benefits.
  • I am not usually a proponent for simply dealing with symptoms. In my days of counseling, I would frequently remind my clients that though symptom management was important, if the root of the problem was not dealt with, counseling would be an infinite part of their lives. With that said, when dealing with health, sometimes the best that can be done is symptom management. Our family eats in a very healthy manner, exercises regularly, and takes Juice Plus (a well-researched whole food supplement). Though these things keep us healthy in many ways, there are simply some health issues in our lives that have not been eliminated by living a healthy lifestyle. For example, my husband suffers from migraines and though diet and exercise have played a huge part in reducing the number he gets, stress is also a major factor in the process. If he is under a huge amount of stress and going on a couple hours of sleep, the perfect storm is created and he ends up with a migraine. In his line of work, he doesn't always have the luxury of a good night's sleep and a low stress day. In an instance like that, he deals with the symptoms because the the root of the problem can't be helped. OTC and prescription meds have been totally useless over the years, offering zero relief. However, oils help him kick the migraine quickly and he is able to work through them. It used to be that if he got a migraine, he would have to go to bed for hours to recover. Another example is my autoimmune disorder. I suffer from inflammation, swelling and pain in my fingers and toes during the winter months. Though my diet and lifestyle choices have greatly improved this problem, they have not eliminated the problem. However, oils have made a huge difference in the level of pain and swelling...see my blog post about that here. The last example I will give is this - I have been dealing with consistent nausea for almost 3 years and have been through more tests and procedures than can be logically imagined! Unfortunately, the doctors have yet to have figured out a cause. It stinks and I am tired of it but honestly I am not sure what I would do without my oils!! Peppermint, Digize and AromaEase save me on a regular basis as I fight through feeling cruddy. Though the root of the problem has not yet been eliminated, I am at least able to function at a somewhat normal level. God is pretty amazing to have created such powerful plants that supply such incredible levels of medicinal value!! 
  • So, in closing this post, I hope something in this was helpful to someone out there - perhaps someone struggling with spending the money or someone frustrated about not finding a root cause to a problem...just a couple thoughts as I continue on this oily journey!!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Essential Oils and Pain Relief

I recently underwent a medical procedure that was extremely painful and left me in a lot of discomfort on the recovery side. After over three weeks of healing, I thought I must be on the upswing but over the weekend, my pain intensified and by Sunday afternoon I was miserable. My back was so sore that the pain radiated down my leg and there was no position that gave me relief. I decided to try a "Morphine Bomb" to see if I could ease the discomfort. The only problem was, I did not have any Idaho Balsam Fir. I had just received White Fir from the August promo and decided to give it a try in place of the Idaho Balsam Fir (a wise friend suggested the 2 Fir oils might act similarly!). Almost immediately, I could feel the edge taken off of the pain. I was not pain free but as the night progressed, it became more and more subtle. By Monday morning, I felt back to normal! It was amazing! On Wednesday, I made the unwise choice of working out in a fairly normal capacity and ended up in a lot of pain once again - stupid choice on my part! And I was back to lots of pain. I popped in another Morphine Bomb and once again was relieved almost immediately of the intense pain.

I don't know why I am always so surprised by the awesomeness of these oils - after the benefits we have experienced, I should probably just expect it! But I still stand in awe of the incredible properties of these God-given oils!

Add 5 drops of each oil to an empty vegetarian capsule and top off with organic olive oil. 
Repeat as needed.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Our family has been blessed with only occasional allergies...which probably makes some of you a little crazy if you suffer on a consistent basis! However, with that being said, Frank and Keith do experience isolated bouts with allergies every now and then and I am so thankful that we have found a natural way to deal with them.

Keith recently had a little flare up because during a field trip to the apple orchard, he found the hay pile and had loads of fun jumping into it with his friends and piling it on each other over and over again! Keith and hay are not friends and he ended up with red, watery, itchy eyes and a runny nose. As soon as we hopped in the car for the 30 min drive home, I dabbed some Lavender on the bridge of his nose and right under his nose. He not only was perfectly fine once we got home, his reaction cleared BEFORE we were even home! Oils amaze me!! God certainly knew what He was doing when He created all of these plants for more than just the beauty they provide!

On occasion when one of my boys experiences an allergy bout, we have also used an allergy bomb capsule, made up of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint. It's an easy recipe and works wonders. These three oils can also be added in equal quantities to a sample bottle and inhaled or applied topically to the back of the neck if that is preferable.

For those who suffer from seasonal or year-round allergies, this oily remedy can provide an effective alternative to using consistent OTC or prescription meds! Say goodbye to the misery of allergies!!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I like oils. I like coffee.
May I share a cup with you?

telephone1.jpg                          =

  1. Listen to a 30 minute Young Living Essential Oil Class from the comfort of your own home.
  2. Learn how the most commonly used oils can transform the health of your family.
  3. Tell me 3 things you learned, and I will send you a $5 Panera Gift Card!

(Limited to the first 20. Not available for current Young Living Members)

Your coffee is on me!

So, this may sound like another "sales pitch" for some new awesome product that will transform your life and provide a miracle cure for all your ailments. Let me assure you it's not:-) I was skeptical when I first heard about oils.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tummy oils...

I recently had a medical procedure done during which I was given some nasty meds to relax me (unfortunately they were ineffective but I still got to experience the side effects!). Following the procedure, I was quite nauseous and miserable. I recently ordered a new oil called AromaEase that is known as Digize on steroids! Though I would not recommend putting drops directly in your mouth (use a capsule!!! It was the worst oil I have ever tasted!), it was AMAZING!! I was astounded at how effective this oil was as controlling my nausea.

Since I experienced the awesomeness of AromaEase this past week, it prompted me to write this post about the tummy oils that I love so much. Unfortunately I struggle with nausea a lot and have gotten very attached to the oils that help with such problems. Here are my favorites:

Peppermint is my number one oil I turn to when I am feeling dizzy, nauseous or light-headed (no, it's not normal that I have these issues!! Working to figure out what the deal is but in the mean time, it's my current reality:-) ). I don't do well when I have blood tests so I always have my bottle of Peppermint with me to inhale during such procedures and it works wonders for me. I like to put a couple drops of Peppermint in my mouth to control nausea but it is a spicy oil so if you are sensitive, putting the drops in a teaspoonful of water helps to tone it down.

On occasion, I need something a little stronger than Peppermint to control my ickies at which time I turn to Digize. It is a great oil for indigestion or the feeling of just being "off" in regard to your digestive system. Quite honestly, I started out hating the smell and taste of this oil blend but I have gotten to the point that I just put a couple drops in my mouth to help me feel better. It truly is an amazing oil and clears up my tummy troubles almost immediately. Digize is a blend of  Tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel , lemongrass, anise, and patchouli and though the flavor is far from desireable, it is worth the flavor every time!

As I mentioned earlier, AromaEase is a new oil and it is even more powerful than Peppermint and Digize in my oppinion! It is the ultimate help if you are feeling terribly nauseous. This blend is similar to Digize but a bit different. It combines Peppermint, Spearmint, Ginger, Cardamom, and Fennel. I would recommend using it in a capsule or rubbing directly on the stomach area - don't ingest it directly into your mouth because it tastes awful!!! 

So this post is a little odd seeing as how most people probably don't have daily bouts with nausea, dizziness or being light-headed...however, this information will hopefully help if you find yourself struggling on occasion with one of these issues! 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Crossfit WOD

10 Rounds of:

200 meter run
10 squats

Short and sweet:-)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The blissful land of sleep...

I've written countless times about the wonderful qualities of essential oils in regard to sleep - and sleep was the number one reason I bought oils in the first place. However, I have recently been awed yet again by the powerful properties of these little bottles of goodness.

From the very first time we started using oils in November, the sleep in our family has dramatically improved. Our 5 year old went from waking up and waking us up 2-3 times a night to waking up/waking us up once a waking up once a night and quietly (without waking us) coming into his little cot bed in our occasionally sleeping all the way through the the current miracle of SLEEPING ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE NIGHT FOR 9 STRAIGHT NIGHTS!!! Can you tell I'm excited?!

But my excitement doesn't stop there! Not only has our little guy been sleeping beautifully, I have also started sleeping so well that for the last several nights I have not woken up even once during the night (a phenomenon that has not happened for over 8 years!). I have been going to sleep without any problem and sleeping like an absolute log until my alarm goes off. What a difference sleep makes!

Now you're probably wondering what the trick is so I will share what we do (it's crazy simple!) in our house and hope it's helpful to you too! There is something magical about getting consistently good sleep and we are reaping the benefits of that after many years of waiting! Thank you Jesus for essential oils!!

  • We love our sleep oils and have many of them! I like to use different oils throughout the week - don't know if that makes a big difference but we don't use the same sleep oils every night. There's no real order...I just like to switch it up. So, our favorite sleepytime oils are Peace and Calming, Cedarwood, Tranquil and Citrus Fresh. I apply a couple drops of oil to the back of the neck, bottoms of feet and on the temples.
  • And I diffuse oils during the night. Since we only have one diffuser, I rotate it between rooms throughout the week so no one gets it every night. I usually put about 6 drops of oil in the diffuser- sleep oil and then sometimes lemon or thieves for some added immunity boosting. 
That's it! the results have been incredible and we are feeling great around here!! Happy snoozing!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Glimpses of Summer...

I can hardly believe that it's mid-July and our summer is quickly flying by! Thought I would highlight a couple things we've been up to. I took the boys blackberry picking last week at Red Barn Farm up in Weston. There weren't many blackberries ripe enough to pick but we got a few and had a great time. A we were searching for ripe berries, we found a beautiful surprise - hanging from a low branch of one of the blackberry bushes, we found a Robin's nest full of bright blue eggs. The boys were so excited to see it so close. Since the ripe berries were few, the boys gobbled them up in a fruit salad at home and that was the end of them! A great summer morning activity. I love making memories with my boys...especially during the beautifully warm days of summer.

 On the 4th of July, I was trying to think of something fun and out-of -the-ordinary to do with the boys and my clever mom suggested buying shaving cream. What a crazy great idea! We hung out outside and they had the best time spraying shaving cream all over themselves and the driveway, mixing it with chalk to make paint and overall having a ball being messy!

We have been frequenting the pool a LOT these days. It is such a treat to go when  Daddy gets off work. On Friday night we took the boys to the water park and then headed over to Zona Rosa for their concert on the square (an event we didn't know about until this week!). I packed a picnic and we listened to the mediocre and very loud music but had a blast. We then treated the boys to vegan frozen yogurt at Yogurtini. Such a wonderful family night! These things make me smile and remind me of how very blessed we are!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Essential Oils in Gardening...Tower Garden Growth...Rain Barrel Watering...

Just a quick gardening post as the morning is fresh in my mind and before I get busy doing other things!
 My tower gardens are exploding with growth this year - my deck looks like a forest! I have been harvesting curly kale, purple kale, dinosaur kale, lettuce, zucchini, spinach, and broccoli these days...I can hardly keep up with how much produce I am bringing in each day. It is lovely!! Fresh, deck-grown veggies make me smile...a lot!!

I have had a problem with little green caterpillars this year - I believe they are cabbage worms and they love to munch on broccoli and kale. Thankfully I have been able to save my plants and really haven't lost much other than a few kale leaves. When I discovered the problem, I did have to spend some time pulling them off my plants.In addition, I started spraying my plants with a combination of Lemongrass, Peppermint, and Purification mixed in a bottle with water (I did about 5 drops of each for a 10 oz bottle). In the morning before the sun is hot and bright, I spray my gardens and I am no longer having the issue of worms (other than the occasional stray one I find). The oils do not kill the creatures but they prevent more eggs from being laid and thus eventually cures the problem for the most part. I am so happy with this natural combo of Young Living oils!!!

Finally, we recently purchased a rain barrel and got it installed. We had a very big storm the other night and after the storm, our 45 gallon barrel was full! I was able to go out and water all of my fruit trees this morning with our rain barrel bounty!

Summer at it's finest:-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Stress Away, Valor and Joy Essential Oils

I decided to do a combined post on these 3 oils because I don't have quite as many personal stories to tell of the greatness of these oils compared to some of the other oils that I use daily!

All of these oils are well-worth having and I am thankful I have all 3!

Stress Away is definitely my favorite out of these oils. It smells heavenly! This oil is a combination of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender. We use Stress Away to help calm stressed nerves or to help improve attitude (especially during school when everyone is tired and spent!). I also discovered that Stress Away is a good nighttime relaxer for my oldest son so I frequently use that as his "sleepytime oil".

Valor is an oil that I have used a handful of times, mainly to help my oldest son to concentrate and feel confident during difficult school-time tasks. I have also used Valor to help improve depressed mood in certain family members who struggle with depression. Further, Valor has helped my mom who suffers from Plantar Fascitis. Like I said, I don't have a long list of uses for Valor yet but I am sure over time, that will change and I will have more stories to tell!

When I first smelled Joy, I greatly disliked it's scent. To me it was strong, flowery and unpleasant! Over the months, I have come to like it a bit better, particularly in the diffuser with another oil that mellows the strong scent. The main way we have used Joy is for a mood booster. Many times during the school year, our diffuser combo of choice was Lemon and Joy...actually a very nice combination! Joy is another one of the oils that to makes a difference for my family member who struggles with depression.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is a very precious and valuable oil. It is amazing (in my opinion!) that it is included in the Everyday Oils Kit because of its value.

Though we don't use Frankincense on a daily basis in our home, we have used it a number of times. We do tend to keep it for necessary use only though it smells wonderful and I would love to diffuse it more frequently!

One of the most amazing things I have learned about Frankincense is that it has been proven to help treat cancer. Dr. H.K. Lin has done extensive research on the use of Frankincense in the treatment of cancer and the results have been astonishing! Find one of his articles here.

I have also been surprised and excited to learn that Frankincense can be a powerful mood lifter. I have a family member who has been very positively affected by the use of Frankincense in regard to depression. Diffusing it helps dispel the low mood and anxiety he feels.

We also have used Frankincense a number of times in the cold and flu bomb which is an incredible oil combo that will kick even the toughest cold out there!

To top off the awesomeness of Frankincense, it smells amazing!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Purification Essential Oil

In my opinion, the unique scent of Purification is delightful! This oil is a blend of Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Melaleuca, Lavandin, and Myrtle. Purification is one of those oils that came in the Everyday Oils Kit and that didn't get a whole lot of use at first. I used it here and there to clear the room of a lingering unpleasant smell or to freshen laundry but the bottle stayed pretty full for the first couple of months. 
However, when our family had a winter bout with some very unpleasant colds, Purification was the oil I pulled out to help with sore ears. My husband got to the point where he felt as though he either had an ear infection or was flirting with one and after using Purification behind his ears several times, he avoided a trip to the doctor as well as avoided OTC or prescription meds to treat it. 

Here are a few ways our family has used Purification:
  • In the dryer to help get rid of the smoky scent of a campfire on pillows or blankets (Place a few drops on a clean, damp washcloth and throw into the dryer with wet, stinky clothes to help remove the odor)
  • Diffused in a room with a lingering bad smell (ie. strong cooking smells, boys' bathrooms etc!)
  • Ear pain or ear infections
  • Itch relief for bug bites
  • Bug repellent

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, cure or treat any illness or malady.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Crossfit WOD - here's a quick one!

Do this workout as quickly as possible to get your heart rate up! Enjoy!

40 sit-ups
40 squats

30 sit-ups
30 squats

20 sit-ups
20 squats

10 sit-ups
10 squats

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

I have a friend who recently gave me a bunch of rhubarb from her garden so I decided to make Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. It turned out delicious and we have a beautiful supply to last us quite a while! The recipe is super simple...I modified it just a tad.

Rhubarb Strawberry Jam

2 lbs fresh rhubarb, trimmed of green or soft areas, cubed into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
1 lbs fresh strawberries, hulled and diced (about 3 cups)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. To prepare for canning: Sterilize 5 half-pint (8oz) jars and keep them hot in the canning pot while
you make the jam. Jar sterilization instructions can be found on (by Ball).
2. To make the jam: Place a small freezer-safe plate in the freezer.
3. Cook the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in a wide, 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed
pot over medium heat, stirring frequently until the juices cover the fruit, about 10-15 minutes.
4. Pour the mixture into a colander set over a large bowl, gently stirring the fruit to drain off the juice -
do not mash the fruit. Return the juice to the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring
occasionally until the syrup has reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes.
5. Add the fruit and any accumulated juice back to the pot and stir in the lemon juice. Bring the mixture
to a simmer, stirring frequently for about 15 minutes. To test when the jam is finished, spoon a few
drops of the jam onto the chilled plate and return the plate to the freezer for 1 minute; the jam should
become somewhat firm but not gelled. In the meantime, skim off as much foam from the jam in the
pot then remove the pot from the heat and gently stir the jam for a few seconds to evenly distribute
the fruit.
6. Fill a glass blender or food processor with hot tap water and let stand 2-3 minutes. Dump out water. Fill blender half full with cooked jam and process until smooth. Transfer to glass bowl. Repeat with remaining jam until all has been processed smooth. Pour smooth jam back into the pot and reheat until bubbling.
7. Ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars, leaving a 1/4-inch of headspace between the top of the jam
and the top of the jar. Use a hot damp cloth to wipe the rim of the jars clean, then place a flat lid and
ring on the top of each jar, tightening the ring to just finger-tight.
8. Return the jars to the boiling canning pot, making sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch.
Bring the water back to a boil (it will have stopped boiling after you placed the jars in it) and boil for
5 minutes. Remove the jars from the pot and place them on a dish towel - do not touch them or
press down on the lids. After about 1 hour, all of the lids should have popped/sealed. If any of the
lids are able to make a popping sound when lightly pushed on, keep them refrigerated as they have
not been processed properly for room temperature storage. Allow the sealed jars to remain
untouched for 24 hours before storing.
source: adapted from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff
http://w w w berry-jam/
Copyright Smells Like Home. Please provide a link to this recipe should you share you