Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

I mentioned yesterday that Phil had gathered a bunch of elderberry, which grows everywhere around here. I finally got the syrup made this morning and I am so excited. Usually when fall starts I begin ordering immune supplements for the upcoming winter. This usually includes elderberry syrup, vitamin c, some immune boosting herbs and maybe a few homeopathic combinations.  It gets expensive and when you are sick a bottle of elderberry syrup doesn't last long.

Thank goodness my husband loves to point out various plants while we are driving or walking around. Recently he showed me that all along the roads and throughout the woods there are elderberry bushes.

 I had about a cup and a half of berries once all the leaves and stems were removed.

I followed a recipe I found on a blog. Basically, I boiled the berries with about 4 1/2 cups of water

and then let them simmer for about 40 minutes.

I then mashed the berries in the water and strained them through a fine mesh sieve. I then mixed it with a little more than a cup of local honey (which contains many health benefits).

Then I put it into a few mason jars and will keep it in the fridge. Should last 2-3 months. It is recommended that you take a tablespoon once a day for preventative measures.

It tastes great and saves a lot of money!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

~I love Fall~

Who doesn't? Fall is my favorite time of year! I am excited for tights, cardigans, hot drinks, the flavors of ginger, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and crockpot meals!  The only thing missing is friends to have late night fires with...oh how i miss that!

Today I came back from a walk with Elias by the river and made pumpkin pancakes. I also made a pumpkin spice latte using this recipe. Though I can no longer call myself a vegan, I do prefer vegan recipes where I can find them.  It's no starbucks, but it hit the spot. 

Liberty Lake is beautiful and I am so glad we are here, for however long. Besides the amazing summer weather and the mountain views from our doorstep, there are so many wonderful finds out in nature. Phil is big into foraging. The other day he brought home a bunch of wild elderberry.

It grows like crazy around here. I found this site and am going to make some elderberry syrup tonight. Elderberry is great for immune health and a life saver in winter to ward off colds and flus.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You got the power!

Elias thinks that this is the coolest thing ever and has been singing this song ALL DAY LONG....

I think this kid is amazing!! He has phil sit on the floor of his room playing guitar and then he acts out scenes from transformers on his bed. It's pretty creative with high levels of mellow drama:)

Favorite Homemade Recipes

Tub Scrub:
I love this stuff! I have never used anything natural, homemade or store-bought that works as well as this stuff.
It is amazing and smells wonderful~

1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner's is what I use)
5-10 drops of essential oil of choice

Mix really well (need to use some muscle for this part) and store in a glass jar.
*can't remember where I found this recipe

5 parts calcium powder
2 parts baking soda
3 parts xylitol
1 part liquid castile soap
3-5 parts coconut oil
(optional ingredients): essential oils, grapefruit seed extract, trace minerals.

I make this using a tablespoon and store it in a pint size mason jar. It fits into the counter drawer in the bathroom. It cleans and strengthens teeth and freshens breath. The xylitol is great for remineralizing teeth and reduces plaque among a whole list of other dental benefits.
*I got this recipe from Wellness Mama

I will never go back to regular deodorant again.  I have been using this for over a year and love it. 
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 c arrowroot powder
4 T coconut oil
10 drops essential oil ( lavender, clary sage and tea tree are all antibacterial. I also love to add patchouli)
Mix dry ingredients, then add oils gradually. Mix with a fork. You can store this in a shallow glass container and store in your bathroom. You can also pack it into an empty deodorant container and keep in the fridge. Keep in mind that storing this deodorant in too warm of an environment will cause the ingredients to separate or if it's too cold you will have a hard time using your fingers to apply it. 
*you can find this or many other similar deodorant recipes all over the internet

Monday, August 8, 2011

huckleberry patch

Saturday we decided to head to Idaho to spend time in the woods, have a picnic and enjoy the weather.

Phil had an idea of where we were heading but in general we were driving up a mountain looking for a place to stop. This of course always makes me a bit nervous. I am usually the one in the family who is extremely spontaneous, needs no plans, can pack up and "go" at a moment's notice, but not knowing exactly where we were heading, with toddler in tow and a great fear of happening upon a wild animal (and the fact that I am not the most outdoorsy person), I was nervous. Add this to the fact that Phil decides to pull off on a very bumpy, rocky and narrow road with an impressive drop off. I was stressed.


So eventually we park, unload the dog, Elias, food and some chairs and walk up a ways til we reach this small clearing smack dab in the middle of a huckleberry patch. Phil had been huckleberry and thimble berry picking several times since summer started, always bringing back a bunch to make homemade jam with (and it is amazing:). We must have eaten every berry within 30-40 feet. We were all had cuts and scratches, but man were we happy.  We picked straight for a couple hours, stopping every once in awhile to sit and enjoy our beautiful surroundings.

We were stained. Especially Elias. He had so much fun playing in the woods and picking berries. His face was filthy, his hands were purple, he was pretending and playing and eating and having such an adventure. It was a joy to watch. He even peed for the first time on a tree...a must for a little boy. He thought it was hilarious. We realized as we were packing up to head back to the car that he had dried blood on the back of his ear, he had fallen while playing and had just kept on going. He said it was the best day ever:)

  It was a beautiful drive there into (and out of) the Coeur D'Alene National Forest.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Been busy thrifting and scavenging to add new items to my Etsy shop, A Hundred Sparrows.  There are so many thrift stores here in Spokane and Idaho and I have found some fantastic things, many that I actually kept for myself. Having sold almost everything we owned to move out here, we were in desperate need of basic household items. At least 1-2 times per week we head out and see what we can find, often times getting fabulous deals!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend

Free eating chocolate

The Easter Egg hunt at our apartment complex

After the Easter egg hunt we drove a couple miles down the road and enjoyed the beautiful weather!

This is the "beach." Excited to spend warm summer days here!

Liberty Lake

Phil and I made an apple pie from scratch for after our Easter dinner...YUM~