Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DIY Peppermint "Pick Me Up" Tincture Blend


"When you are stressed, depressed, and worn out, the last thing you need is to have your system roused with caffeine-rich foods, sugar, or drugs -- all common "remedies" for the blues. Instead, mild herbs that gently and surely nourish and spark the system are appropriate; they activate the nerve endings by increasing circulation, providing nutrients, and increasing vitality and zest. They neither provoke the system nor agitate it."
~ Rosemary Gladstar, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health

I love to experiment with herbs in the kitchen and concoct! Once you learn their specialized properties, you can create your own medicinal mixtures based on your individual needs.  I am particularly drawn to the everyday necessities of the busy homemaker, for as I age, I notice my energy levels aren't what they used to be (and I am highly enticed by another cup of coffee!). Most of the time, I drink our Homemaker's Helper Tea and this blend keeps me feeling strong and capable. However, when my schedule gets thrown off due to unforeseen situations, family emergencies and so forth, there isn't time for that cup of tea. This is why our "pick me up" tincture was born.


This simple recipe uses the "nerve" nourishing properties of peppermint, lemon balm and nettle.  The peppermint acts as a natural stimulant, increases circulation, provide nutrients and increases vitality. Lemon balm is a strengthening nerve tonic which is high in calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and protein. And lastly, nettle is another excellent tonic herb for women. It is a rich source of iron, calcium, B vitamins and vitamin A. With this trio, your body will receive many of the vitamin and minerals that have been zapped from stress and will revitalize and refresh you! Another bonus is that peppermint is a digestive aid and will help with any sluggishness you suffer because of poor digestion (thus providing you with more energy!).


1. To prepare our "pick me up" blend, simply place 1/2 cup each of the following dried herbs inside of a clean, quart sized, glass jar (if using fresh herbs, use a heaping 1/2 cup):



2. Next, add either 80-100 proof vodka or apple cider vinegar to the jar until it is 3/4 of the way full.
  • Though alcohol will make the strongest tincture (please read this post if you have any concerns about the use of it in your medicine cabinet), you will find the pros and cons of both vodka and vinegar in our how to make a tincture post.
  • You could also use food-grade glycerine (in lieu of vodka and vinegar), but will need to follow different instructions for the tincture making process which will be found in our how to make a tincture post. Just use the herb amounts from this post but omit the honey. Glycerine is sweet enough!


3. Fill the remaining of the jar with raw honey (leaving about 1-inch head space from the top of jar).  I included the honey for the happy flavor and because it is a natural energy booster. Feel free to omit it from the recipe if you like.

4. Cap the jar tightly and shake well to blend the mixture. If using a metal lidded jar, cover jar with a piece of plastic or wax paper prior to screwing on the lid. You don't want the metal to be in contact with the tincture to corrode it.

5. Label your jar with the name of herb, date and the medium used (i.e., alcohol or cider vinegar).

6. Store in a cool, dark area like your pantry. Let the mixture sit for 4 - 6 weeks for a nice, strong blend. Shake every few days to infuse the herbs into the liquid.



Final Notes:
  • When the time is completed, place a fine strainer over a glass bowl. Line the strainer with a piece of clean, lightweight cotton or muslin. Pour the contents through and strain. Your tincture is ready to use!
  • If you have a clean dropper bottle, then pour some of your tincture inside and add it into your medicine cabinet. The remaining jar of tincture can safely be stored in your pantry for up to 5 years if using vodka, 2 years if using the glycerin, while the apple cider vinegar tincture will last up to 1 year.
  • Make sure to label your final product with the name of tincture, date made and medium used (such as vodka, vinegar or glycerin).


Now remember, I am not an herbalist... but here is how I would take the tincture -- You can start off with one dropperful (aka 1/4 tsp.) for 3 times a day (if necessary, you may increase to a 2 dropperful dose which is 1/2 tsp. for 3 times a day) when the need arises. This can be added to water, tea, raw honey or even coffee (shh!!! well... if you are going to have it, a minty one would be more helpful).

Unlike caffeine which gives you a false burst of energy, these herbs give you a gentle boost because they are nourishing your depleted body. Keep in mind that the longer you use these herbs, the better the results will be as they begin to build and restore your energy. It is wonderful to have a variety of these long lasting and all natural medicines in your pantry!  Happy herbal-crafting!



"For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God..."
~ Hebrews 6:7

Disclaimers: I am not a certified herbalist but a homemaker interested in the arts of natural healing. The information I have learned has been gleaned through study of some of the following favorite books; Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's GuideHerbal Recipes for Vibrant HealthGrow Your Own Drugs by James WongThe Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs by Reader's Digest and websites of herbalists (such as the Bulk Herb Store Blog). As with all medicine, if problems still persist, discontinue the use of this remedy.

I am not a doctor. While I do seek scientific confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of the herbs and remedies I use, remember that using remedies is a personal decision. Nothing I say on this blog is approved by the FDA or intended to diagnose, treat or prevent disease. All things on this blog are my opinion or the opinion of others. Also, if you have a medical condition, are taking pharmaceutical drugs, or are pregnant, please consult your physician prior to taking herbs.


All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link Up and Create, Bake, Grow & Gather. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up 149


"To make, while we can, our home a sacred place seems to me
the greatest challenge and opportunity of a lifetime."
~ Alexandra Stoddard, Creating a Beautiful Home
 
There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc). ~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!


Here are some lovely features from last week's link up!

Please visit a few and leave some "comment love":
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In other news, our Ebook "Spring $ale" ends on Tuesday!


Visit our DIY Dusting Spray post for details and discount!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

**Please also note that the posts shared on this link up from other bloggers do not necessarily reflect my own personal views or opinions (meaning I do not condone every article that may appear here). Like all literature, please discern everything you read with the Holy Scriptures as your lens.**

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link Up and Create, Bake, Grow & Gather. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

DIY Dusting Spray and Spring $ale on Our Ebook ~ Citrus Series


"There were times, indeed, when the vigor she put into her work was more of a relief to her feelings than it was an ardor to efface dirt... "
~Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna (1912)


I hadn't posted on our Citrus Series this winter and since I have one more week before the technical expiration date, I wanted to share something that will tie both winter and spring together. And so today (in honor of the 2017 spring cleaning schedule), we gladly share a citrus recipe excerpt from our Ebook 100+ DIY Projects to Make with Fruit Scraps. I hope you enjoy this simple and "all natural" tutorial to make your own citrus dusting spray!


Ingredients:
  •  1⁄4 c. lemon infused vinegar * (see instructions and/or variations below)
  •  1⁄4 c. olive oil 
Mix ingredients together in a small spray bottle and it is ready for service!

Suggested Use: Shake well before each use. Apply spray to dusting cloth (such as a flannel or microfiber cloth) and wipe wood surfaces clean. Our un-papers towels work great for dusting too!



To make the lemon infused vinegar:

Place fresh citrus peels (of at least 1 lemon) into a clean jar. Cover peels with white household vinegar (make sure they are submerged under the vinegar so that they do not mold). Cap your blend with a plastic lid and let it infuse in a sunny spot for 3 - 4 weeks. Once the time is up, strain the vinegar and discard the peels. Pour through a fine sieve to remove any excess solids. Your lemon infused vinegar is now ready to use!

Variations:

  • Replace the lemon infused vinegar with orange infused vinegar.
  • In a hurry? Simply add 10 drops of lemon (or orange) essential oil to 1/4 c. plain white vinegar and use this as the infused vinegar in the recipe.


This is such an easy alternative to the fake-perfumed dusting sprays sold in the market. Make a “pledge” to keep your home more chemical–free by starting here!



If you enjoyed this recipe, you will find many others for your spring cleaning endeavors in our Ebook (all the recipes include printable labels too!). The chapter titled "Cleaning Closet" includes how to frugally (without essential oils) make your own:
  • Citrus Air Freshener
  • Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Citrus Cleaning Cleanser
  • Citrus Carpet Deodorizer
  • Citrus Cleaning Solution
  • Citrus Disinfectant Spray
  • Citrus Dryer Sachets
  • Citrus Dusting Cloths
  • Citrus Dusting Spray
  • Citrus Fabric Softener
  • Citrus Furniture Polish
  • Citrus Glass Cleaner
  • Citrus Produce Wash
  • Citrus Rinse Aid and Degreaser
  • Citrus Scouring Cleanser
  • Citrus Stainless Steel Cleaner

We share 100+ more ideas on how to use up fruit scraps in our Ebook here! As a "Spring Cleaning" $pecial, we are offering the PDF FILE at a 40% discount for this week only (you do not need a special device to download our ebook, it can be saved straight onto your computer). Simply type in this coupon code at check-out: 2017springsale

Happy housecleaning, ladies!
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link Up and Create, Bake, Grow & Gather. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up 148


“But the kitchen will not come into its own again until it ceases to be a status symbol and becomes again a workshop. It may be pastel. It may be ginghamed as to curtains and shining with copper like a picture in a woman's magazine. But you and I will know it chiefly by its fragrances and its clutter. At the back of the stove will sit a soup kettle, gently bubbling, one into which every day are popped leftover bones and vegetables to make stock for sauces or soup for the family. Carrots and leeks will sprawl on counters, greens in a basket. There will be something sweet-smelling twirling in a bowl and something savory baking in the oven. Cabinet doors will gape ajar and colored surfaces are likely to be littered with salt and pepper and flour and herbs and cheesecloth and pot holders and long-handled forks. It won't be neat. It won't even look efficient. but when you enter it you will feel the pulse of life throbbing from every corner. The heart of the home will have begun once again to beat.” 
~ Phyllis McGinley, Author (1905-1978)
 
There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc). ~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!


Here are some lovely features from last week's link up!

Please visit a few and leave some "comment love":


Crock Pot Lasagna Soup by The Sparrow's Home




Wake Up! by Handmade by Amelia

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

**Please also note that the posts shared on this link up from other bloggers do not necessarily reflect my own personal views or opinions (meaning I do not condone every article that may appear here). Like all literature, please discern everything you read with the Holy Scriptures as your lens.**

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link Up and Create, Bake, Grow & Gather. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Titus-2 Homemaking Lessons Inspired by Jane Austen


According to her great nephew Edward, Jane Austen was "a good daughter, a delightful sister, the most perfect of aunts, what better record could there be of a single woman? Her literary work never stood in the way of her home duties..." Perhaps her "home duties" isn't what comes to mind when we think of dear Jane, however, she shares much on the subject through the beloved books she left behind. Today we highlight five Titus-2 lessons which are inspired by Miss Austen!


#1. Practice Makes Perfect

"Catherine would make a sad, heedless young housekeeper to be sure," was her mother's foreboding remark; but quick was the consolation of there being nothing like practice."
~Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Though many of us were not brought up to be homemakers, you can take heart that practice does indeed make perfect! The key is in developing the proper habits.  Author Elizabeth George speaks of being intentional about homemaking. She said she "loved reading, brooding, and watching TV. But one evening I heard a Christian woman I admire say, "I don't do anything sedentary!" I thought about that statement for days, and I finally made a pledge to be more active, to keep moving..." 


A few things my mother impressed upon me which I think are priceless, are in fact very simple concepts. They just require follow up ("moving" so to speak) and are in regards to the kitchen. As it is the center of the home, it requires the most maintenance. If we can focus on keeping our kitchen orderly, our entire home will function more efficiently.


  • Number one, do not go to bed with dirty dishes in your sink (sorry, I know you didn't want to hear something this blunt and obvious!). You will be creating an un-pleasant domino effect for the remainder of the week that will affect the whole household and throw it off balance. A clean kitchen means a fresh start to each day and a promise for a more manageable one!
  • The second tip is to clean as you cook. If you take out the tub of sugar, put it immediately away. If you barely use an item, give it a quick rinse and place it directly in your dish rack (I always keep my dish-rack out on the sink for this very reason -- it is the catch-all for the cleaning as you cook method). Leaving piles of mess in your kitchen is very overwhelming! It is much more manageable to maintain as you go along.
  • The third concept is to fix your bed and dress every morning. Your bed makes up the bulk of your bedroom and with that being tidy, it sets the stage for "neat" in your home! With you being "tidy" every morning, it sets the stage for wanting your home to be "neat".


If you are interested, you will find a few more simple priorities here along with some list-making motivation here. Remember, practice makes perfect!

"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
~ Phillipians 4:9 (NIV)



#2. Live Within Your Means

"Imprudence or thoughtlessness in money matters would be unpardonable in me."
~ Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice

"They must retrench; that did not admit of a doubt... She drew up plans of economy, she made exact calculations, and she did what nobody else thought of doing: she consulted Anne, who never seemed considered by the others as having any interest in the question. She consulted, and in a degree was influenced by her in marking out the scheme of retrenchment which was at last submitted... Every emendation of Anne's had been on the side of honesty against importance. She wanted more vigorous measures, a more complete reformation, a quicker release from debt, a much higher tone of indifference for everything but justice and equity."
~ Jane Austen, Persuasion


In Persuasion, we see the heroine (Anne) attempting to remedy the financial stress her widowed father and sister incurred in their lavish lifestyles. And here also, Jane Austen shows us the example of a crowned and honorable wife! For "while Lady Elliot lived, there had been method, moderation, and economy, which had just kept him within his income; but with her had died all such right-mindedness, and from that period he had been constantly exceeding it". A wife's frugal endeavors do make a difference and can make or break a home! I have seen many with a hefty paycheck lose everything and those with meager funds are able to maintain what they have because of good stewardship. Should you like to discover a lifestyle of reform and "retrenchment" (as it is alluded to in the regency era), here is our guide to Prudent Living the Pretty Way.

'“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’"
~ Luke 14:28-30


"...a prudent wife is from the LORD."
~ Proverbs 19:14a


3. Mothers Matter

“A mother would have been always present. A mother would have been a constant friend; her influence would have been beyond all other.”
~ Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Here we see the sorrow of Miss Tilney, to grow up without a mother! How many children today have them and yet still grow up without them? You make a difference dear mother. Your presence makes a house a home! It is your arms that a child finds comfort, it is in your words that a child finds instruction and it is in your actions that a child learns the ways of the Almighty. Your motherly investment of time and energy will not go void. According to the Holy Word, these are beautiful raiment for your child. 

"... do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 
They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck."
~ Proverbs 1:8-9

"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.
Praise ye the Lord."
~ Proverbs 113:9


4. A Wife is a Good Thing

"Lady Elliot had been an excellent woman, sensible and amiable; whose judgement and conduct, if they might be pardoned the youthful infatuation which made her Lady Elliot, had never required indulgence afterwards.--She had humoured, or softened, or concealed his (her husbands') failings, and promoted his real respectability for seventeen years; and though not the very happiest being in the world herself, had found enough in her duties, her friends, and her children, to attach her to life..."
~ Jane Austen, Persuasion

Dear, precious, homemaker and wife, you are a good thing, a crown, and a jewel in God's eyes. Although Lady Elliott "had been an excellent woman, sensible and amiable; whose judgement and conduct, if they might be pardoned the youthful infatuation which made her Lady Elliot, had never required indulgence afterwards", we see in the quote above that she had made the best of her poor marriage circumstances. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, she did her (in this case) unworthy husband "good and not evil all the days of her life". I would like to think that she did so unto Him who created her (Colossians 3:23). Let us all do the same! 

"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD."
~ Proverbs 18-22

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband:
but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones."
~ Proverbs 12:4


5. There is No Place Like Home

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.” 
~ Jane Austen, Emma

"Nothing was so likely to do her good as a little quiet cheerfulness at home.”
~Jane AustenPersuasion

There are many interesting places in the world to see, many wonderful outings to be had! But in the end, where does the heart crave to rest the weary body? Home. It is the place where we nourish our loved ones, practice creativity and cultivate comfort and love. It is assigned to women by the Almighty to keep and to guard (Titus 2:4-5). There is no place like it when it is filled with His sacred presence and our care and devotion.

"And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation,
and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places..."
~ Isaiah 32:18


Thank you for visiting with us today! I hope you have enjoyed this little article and will leave you with a final bit of inspiration from Jane... If you would like to see more of these types of posts, please do let me know as I am considering a series of sorts...


"Give us grace to endeavour after a truly Christian Spirit to seek to attain that temper of Forbearance and Patience, of which our Blessed Saviour has set us the highest Example and which, while it prepares us for the spiritual happiness of the life to come, will secure to us the best enjoyment of what this World can give. Incline us Oh God! to think humbly of ourselves, to be severe only in the examination of our own conduct, to consider our fellow-creatures with kindness, and to judge of all they say and do with that charity which we would desire from them ourselves."
~ Prayer Written by Jane Austen
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link Up and Create, Bake, Grow & Gather. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...