Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Christmas

I figure its better late then never huh? What a awesome season, I got a lot done! Caleb and I kept busy as usual with fun Christmas activities like Zoo lights, making cookies and we got the chance to see "The Nutcracker" Ballet. We had a beautiful Christmas, Caleb and I flew over to New Mexico and spent 5 days with my mom, dad and brother. It was hard to put everything down here and just leave, but its family and at some point I had to mentally tell myself Christmas was next week. We went to a casino, watched Frozen at the movies, Visited a popular carwash from breaking bad, did some thrift store shopping, played card games, made some loom bracelets, watched movies, had some wine, went on a nature trail near rio grand river. I miss them and wish were from the same state at least, but I'm thankful that my mom and dad moved closer. They are driving here in 4 months to help me move to another apartment, hopefully one that I can stay at for a few years!

Caleb & I 'Nut Cracker' ballet
the ballet
Zoo lights

 At grandmas
 at the Rio Grand river

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

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I really have gone natural. I'm taking things to the ETREME over here. I'm having fun and knowing all the money I'm saving and the health benefits makes my heart super happy. I had joined a cool group on Facebook called Holistic Parent Connection, its run by a friend of mine and I'm amazed by all the good formative content on there. If your a parent who seeks natural ways to treat your child for anything in life this is my go to spot. So, with that said I found a post about "Elderberry juice" and the benefits in prevention of sickness with it and most importantly the benefits while sick with the flu if you drink this magic juice. So my son got sick and I hit the health store and bought a bottle. he bottle was pricey and we downed it in one session. We love it, but not the punch in the pocket book. So.....Again back to my handy informative group to see if people MAKE these juices themselves. Guess what they do and so does a handful of people on Pinterest. SCORE. You KNOW I had to make some right? BINGO. Half the price, double the amount. Here is the how too and it tastes YUM.

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Dried elderberries {pictured above}, I purchased through Mountain Rose Herbal
Use a sieve to smash all the good juices out of the berries after boiling

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Allow your liquid to cool completely before adding the honey so the raw honey doesn't get damaged by the heat.

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Bottle your syrup in dark apothecary bottles. A 4 Oz. Amber Bottle is $1.50 from Mountain Rose Herbal.

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Elderberry Syrup for Flu Prevention

Adapted from Mountain Rose Herbal
  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries (or 1 cup fresh)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 to 5 cloves
Place berries, spices, and water in a saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for from 30 to 40 minutes until the syrup begins to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and strain liquid through a sieve, smashing the berries with a wooden spoon to release any extra juice. Discard the berries and spices. Allow the liquid to cool completely and mix in raw honey. Divide into glass bottles and label. Keep the syrup refrigerated and take a teaspoon daily to ward off germs. I label my bottles with the date they were made, they are good in the fridge for 2-3 months

Monday, December 9, 2013

White Bean Soup with Sausage and Collards

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It's soup season!! That means I'm on a constant hunt for new soup ideas to add to our winter rotation, this one was a WIN! So yummy and tasty. Flavors are awesome. Do yourself a favor though, buy FRESH sausage {I got mine at Sprouts farmers market}, also don't buy frozen spinach, I bought Organic fresh. Its makes a world of difference in quality in taste. I also grated some fresh import cheese and pepper on top! I used Cajun Sausage for some kick
I found this one here


  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen bulk sausage, thawed and crumbled
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped collard greens, unthawed
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, and slightly mashed
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar (optional)  {I didn't do this}     
  • 8 slices toasted French bread (optional) {YES DO THIS}



  1. Cook sausage and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until fat renders, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes more. (If bottom of pan starts to burn in spots, sprinkle with water and scrape up blackened bits.)
  2. Add collard greens, beans, and 4 cups water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Adjust consistency of soup with water, if necessary. Stir in red-wine vinegar, and serve with toasted bread slices, if desired.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Decorating

I say this every eyar and sure I'm not going to stop saying it now..........WOW, Where has the time gone?! Its December already! Eeeek! I have been booming in my Etsy business shop {thank you Lord} and time literally gets away from me. This season is going to be special, as Caleb and I are going to fly over to NM and be with my family for 5 days during Christmas. A first EVER that I left my shop during this time of year, but let this be a reminder to me not to panic and worry. I NEED my family, they aren't here forever and time is so valuable with them.
Being the dark after Thanksgiving, its a tradition to decorate the house and put up the tree. Seeing Caleb and I no longer have the space we did before, being in a one bedroom apartment I had to get rid of a lot of things. This included a beautiful 300$ tree I JUST bought at sears 2 years ago. There was NO ROOM at all for it. So I donated it and bought a skinny 6" foot tree that can literally fit anywhere. It WORKS. We played Christmas music and put up lights outside on the rail and had a merry time.
Looks like home.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hand Stamped Copper Necklace {GIVEAWAY}

Another awesome giveaway from me, Yourcharmedlife Inc.
A hand stamped rustic copper double tag necklace, hung on a 18" copper ball chain with a quartz on the side.
Simple entries for your chance to win this free!
Open to USA only
runs for 7 days, will be contacted via email
My Shop

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving {2013}

I hope you all are having a wonderful day and spending time with your families. This year has been a lot of firsts, including my first holiday solo. My son is with his dad today and I'm OK with it. I have a turkey in the oven and catching up with some house work. All is well.
This morning Caleb and his cousin made some rainbow loom bracelets together before heading off, Caleb was more than ready to get his day going.
What are your plans today? Plan on shopping Black Friday?

Yesterday evening we went to our church service and shared out "thankful banner" with the church and walked it down the isle and then had some yummy pie after. Love spending this time with my son, took us hours of gluing on fruit loops and putting glitter on all the letters.

Today starts the biggest sale of the year for Black Friday, in my Etsy shop. For hand stamped personalized jewelry take 15% off for the next 2 days.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Natural Homemade Cough Syrup


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Hmmm...what else can I do naturally?...Oh yea a cough syrup! It is after all Flu season and it seriously pains me to have to give my son any medication on top of what he already has to take daily. So I went on a hunt for a homemade remedy. Most if not all, lead to pretty much the same ingredients as this one. My son is not pleased with the taste of it, so I double the honey than what is listed. I also take out the pepper. I kept mine in the fridge for 1 week, during the time of the sickness then dis-card and make new and fresh every time. A tip, so the texture is not all weird for kids, I would grate the Ginger as small as you can.

Also wanted to toss in there that The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that honey should not be added to food, water, or formula that is fed to infants younger than 12 months of age.

 Natural Homemade Cough Syrup
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp raw, grated ginger
1 tbsp raw, organic apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (for maximum potency) or filtered water for a mellower potency
1 tbsp raw honey {I really laid it heavy on this}
Dissolve cayenne and ginger in cider vinegar and water. Add honey and shake well. Take 1 Tablespoon as needed for cough. Always shake or mix up before using.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chicken Chilaquiles

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Yes please. Sign me up again, this had some KICK to it. I love spice so the more the merrier. This was great, something new. Thick with great textures. I did a few things differently and worked out fantastic, I cooked my chicken first in my slow cooker for 4 hours on low. Then shredded it and added as directed. I also love using my seasoned cast iron skillet, always adds additional flavors.
Found this one here


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, in puree
  • 2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped (about 1 heaping tablespoon), plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from same can)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 small cooked rotisserie chicken (about 1 3/4 pounds), skinned and shredded (about 4 cups), carcass discarded
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
  • 4 cups (about 3 ounces) tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 3/4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)


  1. Step 1

    Combine oil and garlic in a large (3-to-4-quart) saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    Add tomatoes with their puree (breaking tomatoes up), chipotles and adobo, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer rapidly until lightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Add chicken and cook, stirring, until hot, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro.
  4. Step 4

    Divide chips among four shallow bowls; top with chicken mixture and sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, sour cream, and feta. Serve.

Monday, November 18, 2013

DIY Bath Bombs

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The journey of hand made continues....I have learned so much on how to do things naturally and on the cheap, so why not try my hand at bath bombs. Can I say how fun and easy these are too make? I have completed two batches, to date. I originally was looking for something that I could add to my sons bath water when he has a cold, something too sooth him. They work wonders with essential oils. This a huge hit in this house hold. I would love to create some just for fun with some added in fresh flowers and sprinkles etc. So that's on my to do list before Christmas! Think Christmas gifts here!
Some hints/tips: I use a little less citric acid than calls for so that they last longer in the tub. The amount on the instructions will use up faster. I eliminate 1/4" or less. Also, whatever you do do not store these in the bathroom, the water humidity will activate the bombs. {Found this out the hard way} so store them away from water sources.} I went on a hunt for citric acid and found it {4 stores later} at Sprouts Farmers Market in bulk. Its cheap, no worries. For the molds, make sure they are NOT silicone {like I bought}, you need a HARD mold. Ice cube trays, or cute candy hard plastic molds work best. Hobby Lobby have the cutest containers to store them in. Dont be afraid to double the batch to yield more!
FULL instructions can be found here

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