Monday, August 13, 2012

As You Wish...

     Sometimes relationships aren't all they are cracked up to be. Sometimes you butt heads and chase each other round and round about daily worries. Sometimes the stress of life works it's way into our happy place.

     With the move coming up and a bunch of other major changes coming up in our life my honey and I have been finding the rough spots. As a loving wife I feel it is my job to find creative ways to brighten his day and help put him in a good mood. One of my simple ways to show him I care is to write a message for him on the mirror in our bathroom. I use our sons bath crayons that he never plays with and change the message each time I clean the mirror. Today I wrote "As you wish..." for him because he loves The Princes Bride movie. It's a small way to show him I care that doesn't cost me anything (maybe 5 minutes of time) and who wouldn't want a little positive message every time they look in the mirror!?

     If you don't have bath crayons (also called soap crayons) you can use dry erase markers. The darker colors work better. Sometimes if the message isn't easy to read you will need to make the lines thicker. The only downside to dry erase markers is that when the bathroom gets really steamy from the shower the message can start to run. It's not a huge deal but you will want to use the soap crayons for messages that you want to last longer.

     My honey had to run off to work before I changed the mirror this morning so I will have to wait till he gets home to see if he likes it. Some of the other messages I've left him are "You make me Smile!" and "You're Amazing!" but a simple "I love you" is always nice too.  :)  What messages are you going to leave?

For more updates like me on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest! Also make sure to check out my Recycled Urban Garden Blog if you love a green thumb. Thanks for Reading!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Secret Summer Recipe

There is a small thing I have been doing this month that not only helps keep my body healthy but reminds me to take little breaks. I have a secret recipe for a summer beverage that I think I may be willing to share finally and I promise you'll love it. I call it Health Tea. My hubby calls it "That Tasty Water Stuff." My son even drinks it and he can be kinda picky!

I make it in bulk and freeze portions not only to save money but to save me time. I will first cover how I make it in bulk and I will give the portions toward the end to make it in single batches in case you only want a little to try first. This beverage is beneficial for your body in how it helps you shed toxins, keeps you hydrated, gives you vitamins, and tastes amazing! Oh and did I mention it's cheaper than soda? Healthier too!  ;)

Items you will need:
2 Lemons
4 Limes
1 Large Cucumber
1 small chunk of Ginger Root
Apple Juice
A pitcher (1-2 liter)
7-8 Ziploc Freezer bags

Wash all ingredients well. You will be leaving the skin on everything so make sure it's clean.

Slice Cucumber into 1/8" slices with skin on.

 Slice the limes into 8 sections going from tip to tip. Slicing them in this direction keeps the pulp in the drink to a minimum.

You will cut the lime in half, then cut the halves in half, and then cut the quarters in half to make 8 slices from each lime.

 Slice the 2 lemons the same way you sliced the limes.

 I use very little ginger root because it is so potent. You will need less than 1 cubic inch and will slice it as thin as possible while still making it thick enough to stay in tact in water. The end result is slightly smaller than a quarter and about as thick.

Pull out 7 to 8 freezer safe bags. I use the 1 quart size. You will need 8 if you plan to freeze it all or 7 if you are making 1 batch to drink when done.

Into each bag you will put 2 lemon slices, 4 lime slices, 1 ginger slice, and 4-5 cucumber slices.

 Fill each bag 1/2 way with water. Get as much air out as you can before you seal it. Label the bags so you know when they were made and then put them in the freezer.

I stack mine in the freezer to save room.

 When you are ready to drink a glass pull a bag out of the freezer and put it in your pitcher. Pour fresh water over it until the pitcher is full. Once the ice melts you simple mix it 50/50 with apple juice and drink. I prefer to mix mine in the glass (I just eyeball the halfway point) because if you mix the apple juice in with the water it won't last as long in you fridge. If the water has too strong of a flavor for you add more water to dilute. I normally end up with 1.5 liters of water from 1 frozen bag.

I try to remove the floaters (the lemon, lime, ginger, and cucumber) from the water with a slotted spoon anywhere from 1 hour to 12 hours after the ice fully melts. If you leave the fruit in the water longer the taste becomes bitter. This will keep about a week in your fridge before you will need to make fresh.

 The portions for a single batch are 1/2 a lime (4 slices), 1/4 of a lemon (2 slices), a small slice of ginger root, and 4-5 cucumber slices. When not freezing let ingredients sit in the water 12-24 hours before removing with a slotted spoon. Mix 50/50 with Apple Juice when ready to drink.

 Slicing the ingredients every time you run out makes it seem like a lot of work. This is why I started making it in bulk. A nice variation if you want something a touch more refreshing even is to add a few mint leaves to the bags before freezing. It makes this refreshing beverage even more thirst quenching!

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think of this and if you came up with any variations of your own.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

All the Small Things

This month has been a busy one. July marked the first charity event I've ever led in my life. I've also been trying to play catch up with cleaning at my grandfather's house. He's been slowly loosing his vision for years and the outcome is that he stopped being able to clean well. Years of dirt and grease caked on everything takes more effort to remove than you could ever know. But he is a wonderful man with amazing stories and I don't mind it so much.

I'll be moving again in less than a week. The house I signed a lease for has a greenhouse and enough yard that I will be starting a chicken coup ASAP. If all goes according to my master plan (Mwahahahaha!) I will have 5 polts (teenage hens) before winter. I already picked out the names for them... Brittany, Miley, Christina, Salena, and Gaga. Yep, I'm naming my hens after female pop stars who's music I never listen to. I think it's somehow fitting.  :)

Handmade Cards for my Mother-in-law
One of my most recent projects was making cards for my mother-in-law in trade for composting worms. The theme I went with was shadows. I ended up making her one with flower shadows and the other was the shadow of two people holding hands on the swings. I left them fairly plain so she could scan them into her computer, add her own inspirational text to fit the occasion, and print. Sort of an everything card if you will, she can make it say whatever she wants.

Lacto-Fermented Veges
I've taken it upon myself to learn skills that would be useful in a Zombie Apocalypse situation. (The zombie part is really a generational thing. Many pointless hours of my youth were spent discussing the in-depth dynamics of zombie behavior.) I think self-sustaining practices are a golden way to survive though, zombies or not. This is why I made my first attempt at Lacto-Fermentation.  I had made a batch of farmer's cheese and was in need of ways to use my leftover whey. Part of it went to make bread (and it was AMAZING) while the last spoonfuls went into jars of chopped carrots, onions, and celery. I put some herbs and spices in the jars as well with the salt water and left them on my counter for 5 days. The taste test after the 5 days proved I had indeed succeeded. The jar on the left was a wild idea to add cinnamon... I don't recommend adding cinnamon to salt based preservation methods. That jar got tossed. This is something I plan to keep experimenting with though.

I have a million more projects in the making. Some of the posts you can look forward to include a Super Secret Summer Beverage Recipe, frugal ways to entertain a child in the shower, cloth book making, an upcyled shirt tutorial, and how I made my amazing Home and Meal organization binder. Keep watching and reading!

I'll leave you with the amazing photo I took of the baby praying mantas I found chilling above my front door. He only stayed for a day but his company was a refreshing change from all the wasps and ants. Check out those spiked forelegs!
Praying Mantas in Colorado

To keep up with all the new items and specials in my shop like me on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest. I also recently opened a Zibbet store. If you prefer to support the artist and not the middle man Zibbet is a great place to buy.