Monday, February 19, 2018

How I Use Essential Oils

Do you use Essential Oils?

I don't use either brand that is a multilevel marketing business.  I use a brand that I buy at my local organic food store.  I've researched them and feel comfortable with this company for the way I use EOs.  

I don't ingest any oils, and that is just my own preference.  I had water with lemon essential oil in it once and it made my stomach hurt, so I did a bit of reading about it and decided that for me, I wouldn't ingest ANY brand of oils. (the brand I ingested was one of the mlm brands)

So, how do I use EO's?

1. I use them to clean the air in our home.

                                       This is my new diffuser!  It looks really pretty at night!

During winter, and cold and flu season, I like to have different blends scenting my home.  I use these oils alone or in combination - lemon, orange, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, frankinsence, tea tree.

I also use EO's in the water when I mop my house!  It helps make it smell fresh and clean!

2. I make blends for health.

I make a decongestant blend for cough and colds.  This is what I make - 

3 drops of Peppermint
2 drops Eucalyptus
2 drops Tea Tree
1 drop Lemon

I will diffuse this overnight (or during the day) for several nights and it really helps them sleep and we've found it to shorten a cold. Obviously, if a cold hangs on longer than 10 days or a person begins to have  tightening of the chest, trouble breathing, or coughing up thick green mucus, you need to see a doctor!  You may have developed an infection or pneumonia.

If someone in my family is coughing really badly and can't sleep, I will rub Eucalyptus with a carrier oil on the bottom of their feet.  We have found this really quiets a cough.  Tim and I have done it for ourselves, and found it to work well enough for us to sleep all night.  You could use this during the day as well.  We apply 5 to 10 drops of the oil mixture to the bottom of each foot.

3. We use blends for pain relief.

I made my first blend on the recommendation of a dear friend who has rheumatoid arthritis.  She told me that she used a few drops each of Peppermint and Clove oils straight onto her knees and that it helped give her some pain relief.

Nate has back pain at times, and pain in his leg from a bad break years ago.  I made him up a bottle of both of these oils, with Sweet Almond oil as a carrier oil.  I don't have a 'use this many drops' for this.  I just try to do about 2/3 carrier oil and then even amounts of Peppermint and Clove.  It works for him.  

I've made it for my mom for her arthritis in her hands and it helps her too.  I made a small bottle for a neighbor of Nate and Kay's and it has worked for her, too.

4. I make my own hand cleaner.

I use water, a bit of rubbing alcohol, and lavender and lemon EOs.  I put it in a small glass spray bottle and carry it in my purse at all times.  I clean cart handles with it and my hands when I am out shopping.

So that is the basic way I use Essential Oils.  I'm not into it to make money, I'm not one to say that an oil can give you courage, or cure disease.  I do believe that oils do have healing properties (I learned about medicinal plants years ago), and that they can help lift your mood.

I'm especially interested in keeping our home a calm and peace-filled place and having it smell good is one way I do this!

Do you use EO's?  Any favorite blends?  What do you use them for?  Let's chat in the comments!

Also later this week I want to start a conversation on intentional grandparenting, and I know so many of you are involved grandparents and I'd like your imput.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Blog Friends, Community, and Scandalous Scones

Last week I had a message from a sweet blog friend, who hadn't been blogging much for several years due to serious health issues.  She wanted to chat about things that we've both written about on our blogs - mentoring young women, encouraging homeschooling moms, our hearts for our homes.  We decided we wanted to not message back and forth, so we had a phone call on Thursday evening!  It was the best!  We plan to do it more often!  After we'd agreed to the call, I was a bit nervous, just like I've been when I've met other blog friends.  "What if their disappointed after meeting me?" "What if they are not anything like who I've thought they were?"  You know we all have these expectations of each other!  

Do you know Julianne from Life at Providence Lodge?  I am so happy to say she is truly who I thought she'd be - kind, gentle, heart for mothers and women in general.  

We spoke about our kids, things we've learned being parents of married adult children while still having younger kids at home.  I've got some good ideas for blog posts from our three hour conversation!  It didn't feel that long, and we hung up with a desire to talk again, and the sense that you are now "real life" friends and not just blog acquaintances!

One of the things we talked about was community - our need to have kindred spirits in our lives, and how so many of us have found them through blogging.

I'm thankful for those I have in my 'real life' too, that I get to spend time with at our co-op on Thursdays.  Great young women who are home educating their children, often without the acceptance or approval of family and friends.  These women are working hard to educate their kids, and to make a loving homelife, be good wives, and sometimes to be the only parent in their children's daily lives.

I love these women, and am thankful that they don't think I'm a fossil just because some of them are my older kids ages!  

One of the things Julianne and I spoke about was Trim Healthy Mama and for her being gluten free, and dealing with other food allergies.

She loves to have tea time with her kids every afternoon and really missed being able to have scones!  I told her I post this recipe, and when I went to the website the server is down!  I never printed the recipe because I just would go to the website and make the recipe from there, but I did google the recipe by name and I found someone who shared the recipe.

I hope this is exact.

Grain-free scones made using almond flour. Yummy and low carb!

Scandalous Scones

2 cups of almond flour

2 eggs

1 rounded tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tblsp Oil (I use coconut oil)

***I add 3/4 xylitol***

Now notice they don't have any sweetener listed and the recipe from the original website didn't have any sweetener either.

When I made them the first time I put too little sweetener in (I like to use xylitol), but found that with the cream and the curd they were fine.

Then one day when I was making them, I realized that when I make cookies or scones with the same amount of regular flour, I put in way more sugar, so I decided to add more sweetener and they were just right to me!  I added about 3/4 of a cup of xylitol.  

I don't feel deprived when I eat these scones!

I think this recipe without the sweetener could be made into a savory scone with the addition of herbs and cheese.  Yum!

Have a lovely weekend friends!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Real Love, Homemade Valentine's, and Flowers

Tim and I have been sweethearts for a very long time.  Over the years we have celebrated by giving cards, flowers and gifts, or not at all.  Sometimes we've gone out to eat just the two of us and other times, I've cooked for the whole family.

Last year on Valentine's Day he had one inspection and asked me to go along for the day.  We ate lunch out and had a nice time poking around in bookstores and antique stores.

This year he also had one inspection, and asked me to go along for the day.  I did.  We ate lunch out, drove around the Main Line areas of Philly, (amazing houses!) tried to find antique stores open but most were closed. (winter hours, I guess) We talked, laughed, had dinner out, too.

Real love is not just one day a year.  It is the day in and day out choosing each other, working hard, choosing grace, choosing forgiveness.  

Kamryn and I made Valentine's the other day.  She took hers home for her family and I hung mine on my kids bedroom doors yesterday morning before I left for the day.

I also like to buy fresh flowers for Valentine's so I got some white hydrangea for the house,

and some lovely pink tulips for Rachel and Sarah.

It won't be long before they have sweethearts of their own.  In the meantime, I want them to know they are loved, by us and by the Lord.  

Tim and I are very blessed to be sharing our lives together, after all these years.  I'm grateful.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Building Community

Next month will mark my 11th year of blogging.  Isn't that crazy?   Kyle was 2 years old when I started.

Over these years I have had lovely conversations with women about home, family, schooling, tea, chickens...well, you get the idea.

I feel like overtime my blog friends and I have built community with each other.  We care about one another and share our lives.  Some of us have met up in real life.

Some, I've only emailed with and have become good friends this way.

I think its wonderful that we can make connections with people all over the world, and share life with each other.  This is the biggest reason I keep blogging.  Being real, sharing encouragement, being a friend are all important to me.  As is sharing the hope that I have.

Today, I'm meeting up with a friend for brunch. We used to see each other every week and spend the day together, but now that we don't go to the same church, we don't see each other often. My schedule is free and I'm looking forward to catching up with her.  I'm also helping coordinate her daughters' wedding in May, so I'm sure we'll have some wedding talk, too.

Building community takes time and effort.  It means communication, and caring for another.  It takes being intentional.  

I'm grateful for the sweet friends I've made through blogging, and the ones that I know here in my hometown community.  We need each other.  You're all a blessing in my life.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Skin Care

I've had good skin my whole life, even in high school.  Rarely a blemish.

As I've gotten older I've mostly continued to do the same things I've always done, which is basically cleanse my skin every night before I go to bed.  I also mosturize most of the time, but not always.

My skin is naturally getting wrinkles, and I still have all my freckles, and I'm not worried about those (wrinkles or freckles).  I do feel as if I need to exfoliate regularly and this is what I really want to talk about today.

I've begun using a konjac sponge, made to exfoliate the face, a few times a week.  I should probably use it every day.  Its gentle.  Here is a link to information about konjac sponges.  Mine is plain without red clay or charcoal.  I mosturize afterward.  

For cleansing and moisturizing I use Lacura brand.  I buy it at Aldi.

Related image

What do you do for skin care?  Are there products you love and recommend?

Friday, February 9, 2018

What Kind Of Tea's In Your Cup?

I've probably shown you this before but I just love it so.

My friend Jane, gifted this sweet lamby pie to me.  She found it at World Market last summer.  It covers my Royal Albert Old Country Roses teapot, and keeps us supplied with hot tea for hours!

With winter here to stay for a few more weeks, we are thankful for the gift of tea to warm and cheer our spirits!

We like to drink Irish Breakfast, Chamomile, Barry's, or Lyon's brand tea.  I also love to drink Yorkshire Gold.  Sometimes I like to drink Oolong with cinnamon, and a tiny bit of cayenne, some vanilla, a bit of sweetener, and some almond milk.  Its really tasty!  Kind of like a chai.

What kind of tea's in your cup?

I'm joining Bernideen today...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Around The House

I have two people (Tim and Sarah) who have really bad colds.  We've been amazingly healthy in this winter where all around us people have a really nasty stomach virus and the flu.

Tim has a slower week, which is nice with his cold, and so after his inspection yesterday, he got to come home and snuggle with our granddaughter Klaire.  The timing was perfect because she needed a nap.  They both did. (smile)

Things are going well here at the cottage.  Life moves at a fast pace much of the time, but we always land back here together.  

Our sweet house is 32 years old and has seen some life.  There was a family of six who lived here before we did and we raised six kids here and have had tons of people through our doors, both on Sundays and staying over with us.  Its such an awesome house, but it could use some attention.  I'm hoping to get to some of the updating done this year.

In the meantime I try to create beauty for us to enjoy.   We really like this drink station area in the kitchen.  It gets used all day long in the winter.

This shelf is over the stairs to the basement, and just to the left of the drink station.  I love the way it looks.

You can see the shelf in the background of this photo.  I love the beauty of everyday things.  The flatware is in jars on the top of a plate rack that sits on our counter.  Setting the table for dinner is a breeze and we get to enjoy the pretty dishes and flatware.  It also frees us space in the drawers and cupboards.

 These pretty pitchers are on a shelf on the black cabinet by the kitchen door.  I popped in a red metal candle holder, from the dollar spot at Target, for a bit of color.

My dad, Lindsay and Joseph are back this morning from Hawaii.  Tim drove on icy roads to get them from Philly.  They must be in shock with the weather change!  Poor things.

I like this quote from C.S. Lewis - 

"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending."

I hope you have a good day.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Feeding The Chickens On A Winter Morning

Last night I took some leftover broth that had some carrot bits in it and tossed in some oats and let it sit overnight.  This morning I took it out to the hens who were mostly across the creek headed to the barn.

When I called out "chick, chick, chick" they came running.

A few girls stayed over at the barn, but those who came enjoyed it.  The brown partridge cochin on the left was not letting a few of the hens get close to eat, they have to wait.  She's large and in charge.

They are laying again, now that the daylight lasts longer.  We are enjoying having fresh eggs again.  Between the delicious eggs and the entertainment they provide, chickens are a fun animal to keep.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Icy Beauty

Sleet on Sunday lead to a gorgeous Monday morning! 

It's so pretty with the ice on the trees.  The high today will only be one degree above freezing so I don't know how long this beauty will be with us.  Its a pretty sight this morning.

In other Sunday news - Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles! First Super Bowl win!  The girls had friends over to play games, and we found a live feed on FB to watch the last two minutes of the game.  That was fun.

We spent a quiet weekend, Tim has a cold, and needed lots of rest.  Today will be lowkey as well.  Just school here, Tim has an afternoon inspection, and Rachel has work later, too.  With as busy as life can be, I'm thankful for the restful days.

I hope you all have an excellent day.  I'm thankful for each of you who read here!

Image result for christian quotes on friendship


Friday, February 2, 2018

Some Warm Beauty, On A Cold Winter Day

Image may contain: ocean, sky, outdoor, nature and water

                                                       Photo Credit - Lindsay Musser

Lindsay and Joseph have traveled to Hawaii with my dad.  My dad went to visit his brother and sister, who both live in Maui. (senior housing there is apparently the way to go)  They have a housesitter caring for Lindsay's fish and plants, oh and looking out for the house.  

She took this photo the first full day there. They've gone to the top of a volcano in the wee morning hours to watch the sunrise, they are going to go whale watching, too.  I did that when I grew up in California, and its pretty amazing.  One trip there were dolphins swimming alongside our boat.  I did give her one important tip.  Take Dramamine!

Our weather has turned very cold again, so going out today for PT for our friend, lunch with my mom, and getting groceries, is going to require my boots and layers. Oh, and gloves.  Yes, indeed.

Have you ever travelled to Hawaii?  Its never been high on my list of places to visit - I'd rather go to England, Scotland, France or Italy.  But I could endure a winter trip to the Caribbean or Hawaii, just sayin'.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Lately, On Pinterest

I've been pinning English Country Houses

The English Home May 2013 on Behance




Love the built in bookshelf and how the shelf doesn't go all the way to the floor.


Comfortable English country


I've always been drawn to British things, and after watching Escape To The County on Netflix, I realize that this is my style.  Warm colors, relaxed interiors with the feeling of inherited pieces, art, books, flowers, children, dogs.

Its totally me.

What about you?  What have you been pinning on Pinterest?  Do you Pin?  Lets chat and share links in the comments!