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
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries (or 1 cup fresh)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 to 5 cloves
Instructions:
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
 

Ingredients

  • 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}

 

Directions

  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
 
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