Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Paleo Tortillas using yucca and plantain.  I grew up eating yucca and plantain but it's been years.  My dr wants me on a paleo diet for a while so this is going in my tool box!

Crispy Swedish Pancakes [I'm off to make these right now!...] [Update:  I made 1/2 batch for breakfast and it was just enough for 4 of us.  The children loved them and thanked me for making them several times!]:

Check out this salted caramel shake - just in time for summer.  I have some dulce de leche in the fridge.  I think I'll give it a go with that if I can find some good pretzels locally (or else I might just cave and use the big bag from Sam's that my mom got for our graduation party... tempting, but I'll look for healthier ones first!):

Some inspiring crockpot recipes:

Plantain taco shells.  Brilliant. FYI - the plantains in the store are never ever ripe.  Buy them and wait until they are really ugly :).

Mango Salsa.  I don't know that the mangoes would last long enough around here to get the salsa made but I'll try!  I've been seeing them 2 for $1 this week (was that at Sprouts??).  BTW, mangoes freeze great.  I prefer sazon - right in between ripe/stringy and hard/sour.[Need to have ready: red onion, cucumber, red pepper, cilantro, lime juice]

Who knew that you could make your own natural mascara??

I cannot wait, wait, wait to try making one or all of these lotion bars!

Here is a DIY Sunscreen (with non-nano zinc oxide - super important that sunscreens use non-nano ingredients!).  Someone told me last week that they use pure shea butter as sunscreen and it works.  I need to write a post about our recent sunburn experience...

Another version of marshmallows:

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Salad:

Hamburger Salad:

Easier onion rings [update:  We made these yesterday and they were fantastic.  My kids were so excited when they saw what I was making - and oldest helped, I should add. Vidalia onions are in season! I served them for a hearty lunch (since dinner was a everyone-on-your-own day) along with nitrate-free polish sausage, organic BBQ chips, and hotdog buns with 'better' ingredients)]:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Melrose Essential Oil (Young Living)

What's Healin'?

Disclaimer:  I'm not a doctor and am not specifically recommending this to anyone.  I am simply sharing what has worked for me

For years I've used Thieves oil and Peppermint Oil (they really helped me through my Lyme treatment).  Probably about 9 months ago I wanted to have something in my purse for those cuts and scrapes that young children and not-so-young children seem to get at odd moments.  In other words, I wanted to replace the Triple Antibacterial Ointment (my off-brand version of a name brand that I had in my "car bag").

According to the Reference Guide for Essential Oils, Melrose was the perfect replacement.

I put some carrier oil in a 2 oz spray bottle and added about 20 drops of Melrose.  Next time I will go with a smaller bottle 'cuz it goes a long way and I have transitioned to a smaller purse (that looks like a football since I've crammed it full!).  We've been using this ever since and haven't looked back!  Dog scratch?  Melrose spray.  Scrape from climbing the tree? Melrose spray.  Skinned knee?  You got it, Melrose spray :).

This past week my oldest daughter (who I still cannot believe is a young adult!!) got a small cut on her finger that I thought was a paper cut.  However, apparently, it was from a fishing line while catfishing at a small temporary pond set up at an event.  The fishing poles had no reels so they had to pull in the line by hand and it sliced her finger.  Ick!  I had the Melrose in my purse but she didn't realize at the time that she had gotten cut.  It was a bit infected by the time I saw it yesterday (4 days later).  She immediately started using Melrose - it is better this morning and, although still a little red, has closed and doesn't hurt anymore. 

However,  I'm going to amp things up a bit and be prepared...

Bentonite clay, like baking soda (which I also always keep in my purse!), makes a great drawing salve.  I'm going to mix up a small container of Bentonite clay with Melrose for some warts I need to focus on treating, and to have on hand for other skin issues.  Melrose has 2 types of melaleuca (tee tree oil) so I'm guessing it will help rid me of the warts. After researching a bit I'm going to also add in some activated charcoalfor an extra drawing kick.  Plus, I always have that on hand (yes... I keep some in my purse also, lol).

Now... to go make my concoction so I can share measurements :)...... [insert sound of elevator music here...]

It turned out great and I already started using it on my warts.  I made it extra strong because these have been persistent (and grossly embarrassing!!)


2 Rounded Tablespoons of Bentonite Clay
2 Capsules Activated Charcoal
Approximately 1/2 Tablespoon distilled water (pour this in slowly and adjust - see notes below)
10 - 30 drops of Melrose (I used 30 but 10-20 drops would be a more normal strength)


1. Measure out the Bentonite Clay and Activated Charcoal in a little bowl.  Stir together gently [Don't breathe it!].

2. Slowly put in a little bit of distilled water, stirring and mixing until you get a very thick paste.

3. Add the essential oil.  Mix thoroughly.


~ Activated Charcoal acts like soot because it IS soot :).  Therefore, try not to get the salve on anything that could be stained.  I will use a bandaid over it.

~ I have seen fancy, expensive containers of pure Bentonite Clay, both dry or with only distilled water.  I got mine in the bulk section at the health food store.  I only spent $0.50 for the clay in this project.

~  Cost:  Approximately $4 - $5.

~  Again - Disclaimer:  I'm not a doctor and am not specifically recommending this to anyone.  I am simply sharing what has worked for me.

~ I recommend mixing it up in a separate bowl and then transferring to your container.  It will give you more room to smoosh it up really well.

Here is the link to the Young Living page of Melrose.  Please consider using my sponsor and enroller number of  1634316 if you decide to order or join through Young Living.  If you know me in real life I have trial sizes of this oil (30 drops for $5.00). Just let me know if you are interested.  Otherwise, it may show up in the Etsy store...

And now... I need to go put some in my purse! :)

This post contains affiliate links.  If you go through these links to Amazon I may get a tiny referral with no extra cost to you.  Thanks!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Playing Chess

I remember the day I finally beat my youngest at a game of chess.  As I gleefully celebrated I shamefully remembered that... she... was... seven.  She's moved on to higher chess brain power than me in recent years (or I should say, more focused - I actually really like chess and use to be okay at it!).  This was a chess game picture I found as I was looking through photos recently.  It was taken by my youngest while she played chess with Bamboo.